By Mike Martindale
From The Detroit News
DETROIT—One of the Oxford High School students who survived being shot on November 30 has filed a federal lawsuit against the school district and four top officials for failing to intervene to prevent the tragedy.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 17-year-old Kylie Ossege, a recent Oxford High graduate, who suffered a gunshot wound to the right shoulder during the mass shooting at the high school in November. Four students were killed and seven others, including a teacher, were injured.
The lawsuit, the latest of several state and federal complaints filed against the school, alleges gross negligence and violation of the Michigan Child Protection Law in the incident and details how events leading up to the shooting should have prompted school officials to disarm the student accused in the shooting, Ethan Crumbley, then 15.
The lawsuit details how school officials had been advised of concerns of parents and that Crumbley’s behavior and actions were sufficient to remove him from the school. Officials also had a duty to notify law enforcement or report suspected child abuse or neglect to child protective services, the lawsuit alleges.
Instead, after a meeting between school officials and Crumbley’s parents during which the parents refused to remove their son from school because they had to return to their jobs, the teen was permitted to return to class with his backpack, now believed to have contained a handgun and ammunition.
Crumbley is referred to as “EC” in the 32-page complaint, which names the Oxford Community School District; former superintendent Timothy Throne; principal Steven Wolf; Nicholas Ejak, dean of students; and counselor Shawn Hopkins as defendants.
“It is shocking to the conscience that Ejak and Hopkins would release EC from the security and supervision of the counseling office and return him to the school environment where they knew: that EC was suicidal, that EC had an obsession with firearms and gun violence, that EC had been researching ammunition at school the day before, that EC had been watching violent videos of shootings at school earlier that day, that EC had drawn disturbing and violent images and words depicting gun violence and his mental disturbances, that EC was suicidal, that EC’s parents were informed of EC’s suicidal ideations and refused to take him for treatment, that EC was a threat to himself and others, that EC had access to firearms, and that they had the authority and obligation to keep EC away from the school environment,” the complaint, filed by attorney Deborah Gordon, said.
Neither Gordon nor the school district could be reached for comment Wednesday.
The lawsuit seeks damages for Ossege’s physical injuries, and future mental and medical needs; attorney fees; and costs and economic damages.
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