A Michigan school district is under fire for trying to cover up the slap on the wrist “punishment” it’d doled out to two high school employees who were indirectly involved with suspect Ethan Crumbley’s Nov. 30th mass shooting at Oxford High School.
On Thursday, The Detroit News published emails that had been sent by Oxford Community Schools official David Pass in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. It’s not clear how the emails were obtained. What’s known is that district officials had been stonewalling the media for months.
No one from the Oxford, Michigan school district will answer questions. The doors to their district office are locked with a sign saying they are not open to the public. No one answers phone/emails. Board president has a coffee shop – with a sign outside that says “No Media.”
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) December 6, 2021
Directed at Oxford High School Dean of Students Nicholas Ejak and school counselor Shawn Hopkins, the emails informed the two that they were going to be placed on paid administrative leave for having done nothing despite meeting with Crumbley hours before he opened fired and killed four of his peers on Nov. 30th.
“The District experienced a tragic event on Nov. 30, 2021 that resulted in the deaths of 4 students and injuries to 7 others. You were involved with a meeting with the student and his parents and the assessment of the student on Nov. 30, 2021,” Pass’s email read.
“Given the severity of the situation, personal threats and well being, and the ongoing internal and external investigation, you are placed on non-disciplinary non-duty leave of absence effective immediately. You will be notified upon conclusion of the investigation.”
The point was that the pair should have done something — alerted the authorities, for instance — in light of Crumbley’s telling behavior.
“Ethan’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, had been called to the school the morning of Nov. 30 because of teachers’ concerns about their son’s behavior, including watching violent videos, searching for ammunition on his phone, and scrawling disturbing drawings and words on his math homework,” The Detroit Press reported.
“Crumbley explained to [Ejak and Hopkins] he did not pose a threat to himself or others, shot guns as a hobby and the drawing was for a video game he was creating. Unconvinced school officials [Ejak and Hopkins] asked the teen’s parents to remove him from school and seek mental health counseling for their son. The couple refused, saying they had to work that day and Crumbley was handed his backpack and allowed to return to class.”
Less than two hours later, Crumbley opened fire, killing four of his peers.
MI school shooter’s disturbing drawings in court docs; mom allegedly texted boyfriend about gun https://t.co/zJxYjHJ2br
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 24, 2021
After The Detroit News’ report emerged, a lawyer representing the victims of the shooting issued a statement accusing the school district of having covered up the lightweight “punishment” it’d doled out to Ejak and Hopkins.
“Oxford Community Schools has yet again covered up its role in the Oxford High School mass shooting tragedy. Today, we have found out for the first time, that two of its high school employees, Nicholas Ejak and Shawn Hopkins, both of whom are named in our civil lawsuit, were immediately placed on paid ‘administrative leave’ for more than one month following the shooting,” attorney Ven Johnson said in a statement, according to Fox News.
He reportedly added that the district’s decision to place the two on paid administrative leave “is yet another example of the overwhelming evidence which proves the school district has no interest whatsoever in determining the mistakes it made that left four students dead, seven injured and hundreds traumatized.”
Indeed, not only were they lightly punished — assuming being on paid administrative leave even counts as a form of punishment — but they’re reportedly already scheduled to return to work soon.
“Following the summer break, Hopkins will be working at Oxford Bridges High School and Ejak will be working at Oxford Crossroads Day School. … No one has resigned or been fired in the wake of the shooting at the district,” The Detroit News reported.
The latest discovery will likely be used by Johnson and other attorneys who are representing the victims of the shooting.
As previously reported, another high-profile attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, has filed two $100 million lawsuits against the district.
School officials facing $100 million lawsuit for deadly mistakes leading to HS shooting – https://t.co/gKkT8micGv
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) December 10, 2021
Citing Crumbley’s social media posts as evidence that he had a “murderous ideology,” the lawsuits said that “Previous to the November 30, 2021 incident, Ethan Crumbley posted countdowns and threats of bodily harm, including death, on his social media accounts, warning of violent tendencies and murderous ideology prior to actually coming to school with the handgun and ammunition to perpetuate the slaughter.”
It was clear that the kid was up to no good, but again, Ejak and Hopkins did nothing.
“They recognized it enough where they pulled him out of class, [but] instead of calling the police liaison officer, they called his parents. They told his parents to take him out of school. The parents refused, so they said okay, he can stay here and go to class,” Fieger said during a Fox News appearance back in December.
“Well, he simply went to the bathroom, loaded the thirty rounds of ammunition into his newly presented gun given to him by his parents, and began slaughtering students. There’s certainly responsibility here, and it’s time that we stop giving lip service to all of this and hold people responsible.”
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