Oxford, Michigan School Shooting

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image provided by: CNBC

Sarah Ireland and Phoenix Albrecht , Reporters

On November 30th, 2021, the lives of four Oxford High School students were tragically lost and another 6 lives hang by a thread in the 29th school shooting this year.

15-year-old Ethan Crumbly took a handgun to school on the morning of November 30th. Hours before the shooting occurred, Ethan’s parents were called to the school in concern of their son’s mental health after one of his teachers saw his drawings regarding the school shooting. His parents forced Ethan to return to his classes, knowing that he had a gun, only for shots to ring out moments later. It is because of this that these parents are having charges brought against them. 

The shooting resulted in the death of four students: Hana St. Juliana 14, Madisyn Baldwin 17, Tate Myre 16, and Justin Shilling 17. Hana was an avid basketball player and was loved by her family and classmates. Her teammates paid tribute to her saying that the game would never be the same without her. Madisyn, a senior, planning on attending college this coming fall with multiple scholarship offers. She spent her free time pursuing her art and was taken before her career got to take off. Tate was a star football player and honor roll student and was planning to continue his football career in college. It is suspected that Tate ran towards Ethan in an attempt to stop him from injuring any other students. He died en route to the hospital. Justin was a lettered athlete and scholarship recipient. He passed away Wednesday morning after fighting for his life in the hospital for just under 24 hours. 

Ethan was found looking at ammunition online and was interviewed by the school and found to be a family hobby. The school tried to call Mrs.Crumbly but she did not respond. The next day a teacher saw drawings from Ethan Crumbly that worried him enough to contact the consolers and have the student removed. The drawing was said to depict a gun, someone who had been shot, a laughing emoji, and words saying, “Blood everywhere” as well as “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” The parents were then called to the school. When the parents arrived they were asked a series of questions from the school that would help to see if he planned to hurt anyone. James and Jennifer claimed he would not want to hurt anyone. The school claimed their answers concluded the same as the shooter’s interview. The school concluded that he needed counseling and told the parents that they would contact child protective services if they did not find him counseling. 

After hearing this and being asked to take their child home for the day, they refused to take their child home and left their son at the school. It would be soon after that four students tragically lost their lives. 

Investigations shortly after provided information that after the school’s confrontation with Ethan, which occurred over the two days previous to the shooting, school authorities had the right to search his belongings. Had they done that, it is likely that the gun would have been found and the needless deaths prevented. While we can’t bring back the lives of the four victims, schools can learn from this and have mandatory searches of students’ belongings when there is concrete evidence of intent toward violence. 

This is the first time that parents of a school shooter are being charged. The parents James and Jennifer Crumbly both pled not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter. Both James and Jennifer are being held, each with a $500,000 bond. Ethan is currently in custody with no possibility of bond at the moment. Charges and trials will occur in the next couple of months.

The Oxford High school shooting has been the most deadly school shooting since May of 2018. Hana, Magisyn, Tate, and Justin will forever be in the hearts of the students of Oxford High and in the hearts of students across America. It is time to take action and protect children in school. We simply cannot afford to lose any more lives.