Crumbleys Arrested, Arraigned

What is the school's responsibility?

James and Jennifer Crumbley were located and arrested in Detroit early Saturday after a building owner saw their vehicle and contacted police.

Police arrived at the scene at approximately 10:00-10:30pm Friday, according to Detroit Police Chief James White. It is known by police that someone let the Crumbleys into a commercial building, and said that those who aided the couple could face criminal charges.

By 1:45am, the Crumbley’s were under arrest.

Detroit Free Press

The couple were arrainged at 9:30am Saturday by video conference. At the arraignment Judge Julie Nicholson of Rochester Hills District Court read the names of the dead teens the couple’s son is accused of killing.

The Crumbleys each pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Bail was set at $500,000 each.

Detroit News

After Oxford school officials let Ethan Crumbley back into the classroom on November 30, experts are asking what the responsibility should be of the schools and whether they should be held accountable.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald has said that the investigation is ongoing when asked about the conduct of school officials.

Law professor Catherine Ross, an expert on students’ rights, found the school’s reaction “astounding.” She said it was well within the school’s rights to insist that Ethan Crombley leave the school campus, even as the parents refused to bring their son home that day.

Chris Dorn, a school safety consultant with the nonprofit Safe Havens International, said it was advisable for schools to call law enforcement if there was suspicion that a student might be armed.

Mr. Dorn has conducted investigations into lapses that led to past school shootings, finding that administrators sometimes worry that calling the police will violate a student’s rights. Other times, they have simply failed to take a threat seriously enough.

“Part of it is that people are just generally nonconfrontational,” Mr. Dorn said. “School staff are often slow to recognize danger because it’s not part of their everyday.”

Professor of education law Chuck Vergon said that it is historically difficult to hold school officials accountable for school shootings with high standards to meet for “wanton and willfull disregard” for the safety of others in order to prove gross negligence.

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said school officials should have searched Mr. Crumbley’s bag for weapons.

But she said that the steps to prevent gun violence begin far before someone brings a weapon onto school grounds. Ultimately it is lawmakers, not school officials, she argued, who have the power to prevent shootings by passing secure gun storage laws or red flag laws, which allow the police to temporarily confiscate firearms from people who are deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others.

“You’re putting educators in an impossible position because they don’t really have the tools to proactively prevent guns from coming into the school,” Ms. Watts said.

New York Times