OXFORD, Mich. – A judge will make her decision “sooner rather than later” after hearing arguments on whether employees at Oxford High School can be sued over the fatal shooting of four students.
Families of Tate Myre and Justin Shilling filed a civil lawsuit against teachers, counselors, administrators and a security guard, claiming there were warning signs and the shooting could have been prevented.
Judge Mary Ellen Brennan heard arguments from both sides Wednesday to decide whether Oxford school defendants should be dismissed from the suit because of governmental immunity.
Attorney Tim Mullins argued on behalf of the district and its employees.
“Ethan Crumbley is responsible for this act, not any of the employees of the school district or the school district itself,” Mullins said.
Ven Johnson, the attorney representing the victims’ families taking issue with governmental immunity.
“No one deserves a leg up in the law, everyone is the same, even if you are the government,” Johnson said.
After the hearing, Johnson revealed new potential evidence in the case.
Johnson said his office just received Crumbley’s 2021 SAEBRS scores, a social/emotional assessment given to students.
“(Crumbley) did a SAEBRS test that showed he was at high risk for behavioral and emotional risk and the school claims they never looked at the score,” Johnson said. “So they knew one month before this shooting that this kid was high risk and did nothing.”
If the case moves forward, Johnson plans on entering the SAEBRS results as discovery.
A former school board member, who resigned last year due to the handling of the investigation, attended the hearing.
The former treasurer Korey Bailey said he hopes the case goes to trial.
“It breaks my heart every time I see the news and see another shooting has happened, knowing that if we would’ve told people of our mistakes and learned from our mistakes, a six-year-old wouldn’t have had a gun in the school and they may have taken it seriously,” Bailey said.
Bailey has said he can’t get into specifics of the board and district’s handling of the shooting, because the discussions were held in closed session meetings.