The families of about 20 Oxford High School students filed a federal lawsuit in a push for policy changes after three teenagers were killed and eight other people were injured in a shooting at the Michigan school.
The suit, filed in the Southern Division of the Eastern District of Michigan, does not seek monetary compensation. Attorney Scott Weidenfeller, who represents the families, said they are asking the district for transparency and communication.
“The new school year is about 10 weeks away, and so these families have children that are going back to the school. And so, this lawsuit really seeks to force change by federal court order,” he said at a virtual news conference Friday.
Three students were killed in the Nov. 30 shooting after a 15-year-old sophomore allegedly opened fire just before 1 p.m. The suspect, Ethan Crumbley, fired at least a dozen shots before he was taken into custody.
Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Madisyn Baldwin, 17, were killed in the shooting. Tate Myre, 16, died in a patrol car as deputies were taking him to the hospital, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said.
Eight others were seriously wounded, including a teacher. The teenage shooter is being charged as an adult and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
A separate lawsuit alleged that parents had complained about the suspect’s social media behavior and said administrators knew he was dangerous before the shooting. About two weeks before the tragedy, the suspect took a severed bird head in a Mason jar “containing a yellow liquid” to school, according to that suit. It claims he left the jar in the boys’ bathroom. The suit went on to say that students found it and reported it to school administrators but they said there was “no threat to our building nor our students.”
Weidenfeller said Friday that there needs to be a “third-party investigation” and he wants the district “to stop minimizing threats of violence, to communicate clearly with the parents, for transparency.
He suggested that there also needs to be “training for these school administrators.”
One parent at the news conference agreed.
“We continue to wait for answers and get the policies in place that we desperately need so that another tragic event does not plague our community,” Andrea Jones said. “We need answers to be able to fix what went wrong.”
Alicia Feltz said the lack of transparency from the district “is hindering the healing process for the entire community.”
Minyvonne Burke is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News.