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Former Oxford board members say district never implemented threat assessment policy

Two former members of the Oxford Community School’ Board of Education alleged Monday that policies and procedures that could have prevented a mass shooting last year had been approved but were never implemented.

Former board president Tom Donnelly and former treasurer Korey Bailey made the accusation at a news conference held just two days before the one year anniversary of the shooting at Oxford High School that killed four students and wounded six other students and a teacher.

Donnelly and Bailey, who recently resigned from the board, said a threat assessment policy that defined the role of teachers, counselors and administrators, was adopted by the district back in 2004, but was never put into practice.

Then 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley used a semi-automatic handgun to open fire on fellow students on November 30, 2021, killing 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 17-year-old Justin Shilling.

Crumbley, who is now 16, pleaded guilty last month to terrorism and first-degree murder charges and faces a life sentence with no chance for parole.

His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are charged with involuntary manslaughter after authorities say they failed to secure the gun used in the shooting and failed to provide care for their son when he showed signs of mental distress.

The couple refused to take their son home after a meeting in which they were informed he had made a drawing which included a handgun and the words: “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”

Both Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard and Prosecutor Karen McDonald have criticized school officials for not alerting a school resource officer about Crumbley nor searching his backpack before allowing him to return to class about three hours before the shooting.

In addition, attorney Ven Johnson, who represents several of the victims’ families in a civil lawsuit against the district, alleges teachers and a counselor at the school were aware of Ethan Crumbley’s interest in guns and violence months before the mass shooting.

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