Michigan Parents Question School Board on Why Alleged Gunman Was Allowed to Return to Class Before Shooting
According to prosecutors, James and Jennifer Crumbley were called to the school after a teacher found a chilling note on their son's desk. Ethan Crumbley was allowed to return to class and is accused of carrying out the shooting hours later.
The first school board meeting since the deadly shooting at a Michigan high school was held Tuesday night and many angry parents showed up to express their outrage at school officials.
“You people have lied to us. The first value of this school is trust. We don’t trust you anymore. We’ve had catastrophic failures at your watch, and you don’t want to talk about it,” one parent said.
On Nov. 30, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, a student at Oxford High School, allegedly shot and killed three of his classmates and injured seven others. A fourth student later died from their injuries. Crumbley was captured by authorities and charged as an adult with 24 crimes, including terrorism and murder.
Several days later, prosecutors also charged the suspected gunman’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly failing to secure the gun used in the shooting, which they had reportedly bought for him as an early Christmas present.
The parents had been called to the school the day of the shooting after a teacher found a chilling note on Ethan’s desk, which showed a drawing of a gun with the words, “The thought’s won’t stop. Help me. Blood everywhere. My life is useless and the world is dead,” according to prosecutor Karen McDonald.
Ethan’s parents were reportedly given 48 hours to get him counseling, and he was allowed to return to class — a point which was raised by parents during Tuesday night’s meeting.
“The fact is clear: He was told he needed help. He was told that he needed to go home. His parents dictated that they weren’t taking him. It wasn't an option. It’s not an option. If they didn't want to take him, then the right people should have been called. Period,” another parent said.
When the school reopens after the holidays, new safety measures for students will be enforced, including no lockers and no backpacks.
“When my fourth grader came home from school last Friday, he asked me why his school was searching him and treating him like a criminal,” a parent said.
Meanwhile, James and Jennifer Crumbley were shackled as they appeared before a judge, sitting apart. James was seen mouthing the words, “I love you” to his wife, before an officer intervened.
A judge has denied a request to move the suspected shooter to a juvenile jail. The Crumbleys and their son have all pleaded not guilty.
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