Are the Parents to Blame?

Update on the Oxford High School shooting

Mia Smith

On November 30, 2021, there was a mass shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan. The perpetrator was armed with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. The shooter managed to kill four students and injure seven. The person responsible is named Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 at the time of the shooting. His trial has just now resurfaced.

Ethan Crumbley

CBS News reports that Crumbley who is now 16, has pleaded guilty on accounts of terrorism and murder. It is also a possibility that he will face a life sentence with no parole. These, however, are not the only charges being presented in the case. Crumbley’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley are now on trial for involuntary manslaughter. Their defense is that this event caused by their son was “unforeseeable” and they would have never known. The prosecution believes differently.

James and Jennifer Crumbley

The prosecution believes that the parents were aware of their child’s mental state and disregarded treatment. ABC News writes, “In a concurring opinion, Judge Michael Riordan wrote that although parents typically cannot be held liable for a child’s crime, Jennifer and James Crumbley were aware of “visual evidence…that [Ethan Crumbley] was contemplating the act of gunshot wounds being inflicted upon someone.” Leading up to the shooting, there were multiple instances that could have led to somebody intervening with Ethan Crumbley’s murder agenda.

Crumbly was seen researching “ammunition” in class just days before the shooting. The school contacted his parents, but they ignored it. His mom then texted him and said, “lol, I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.” In addition, just hours before the shooting, Crumbley was seen drawing a violent scene. There was a semi-automatic weapon and bullets on the paper, each with words attached. The weapon pointed to the words “the thoughts won’t stop, help me,” and the bullet had “blood everywhere” written above it.

Along with neglecting Ethan’s mental health, Jennifer and James Crumbly are also being accused of making the gun used in the shooting accessible to him. Judge Christopher Murray wrote, the parents “provided him with the weapon he used to kill the victims” and “refused to remove him from the situation that led directly to the shootings.” James Crumbley owned the handgun that was used to kill four people and injure seven more. No verdict has been settled yet.