OXFORD, Mich. (WJRT) - As the one year anniversary of the deadly Oxford High School shooting approaches, a group of students and parents is asking the court to change their lawsuit filed last spring into class action status.
If approved, the change would amend the Change4Oxford lawsuit to include all students in the district. The group of students and parents is seeking a judgment ordering Oxford Community Schools to update safety and security policies.
Change4Oxford initially filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in June on behalf of 19 students. They requested class action status on Tuesday, which is one day before the anniversary of a shooting that left four students dead at Oxford High School.
The group argues that Oxford Community Schools failed to protect students' constitutional right to receive a free public education by neglecting its duty to provide a safe learning environment.
“Oxford Schools shockingly failed to meet the basic expectation of a safe learning environment on November 30, 2021, and since then they have continued to leave students and parents completely unsure if they will encounter violence at school despite the massive wakeup call this tragedy provided,” said attorney Scott Weidenfeller of Grewal Law, who represents the Change4Oxford group.
The shooting left four students dead: 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 17-year-old Justin Shilling, 16-year-old Tate Myre and 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana. Six other students and one teacher were injured in the shooting.
Ethan Crumbley, 16, pleaded guilty to 24 charges from the shooting, including four counts of first-degree murder and one count of terrorism causing death. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are awaiting trial on four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
They are accused of providing their son with the murder weapon and failing to get him mental health treatment.
The Change4Oxford lawsuit, which does not seek any financial judgement against Oxford schools, is asking the court to order the district to update and enforce safety protocols for all schools in the district.
The Oxford school board president and treasurer, who recently resigned, alleged during a press conference Monday that the district failed to implement its safety and security policy before the deadly shooting.
“With new accusations this week by former school authorities that virtually no effective safety efforts had been implemented by the district, we are even more confident that our lawsuit seeking court-ordered violence prevention plans is vital to the future protection of every student in the district,” Weidenfeller said.