Oxford High School shooting: Administrators, staff deny negligence

Administrators and staff at Oxford High School denied negligence after a lawsuit filed against them claim that they failed to address potential threats before the Nov. 30, 2021 shooting.

MORE: Two $100M lawsuits allege school officials knew of threats

"Defendants deny that they breached any duties and, further, deny that they were negligent in any manner.  Defendants affirmatively state that they were guided by and strictly observed all legal duties and obligations imposed by operation of law and otherwise," an affirmative defense filed Friday reads. "Further, all actions of their agents, servants and/or employees were careful, prudent, proper and lawful."

The lawsuit naming the school principal, district superintendent, the dean of students, two counselors, a staff member, and two teachers allege that they did not properly act to prevent suspected shooter Ethan Crumbley from killing four students.

Read more Oxford HS shooting coverage here.

Cumbley is accused of looking up ammunition on his phone while at school the day before the shooting. 

The day of the shooting, a teacher found concerning drawings on a test review sheet. 


The teacher reported this to administrators, and a school counselor met with Crumbley's parents. His parents are accused of refusing to take him home after hearing about his behavior, so he returned to class several hours before he's accused of opening fire inside the school.

Related: What evidence could be used against Ethan Crumbley?

According to the defense, the school employees "are not liable…for the criminal, assaultive acts of third parties."

The defense also notes that those named in the suits are statutorily immune.

That defense was in response to a lawsuit filed by Geoffrey Fieger. The school employees, as well as Crumbley's parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were recently named in another lawsuit that claims they violated the Child Protection Act.

READ: Victims' parents sue teachers, counselors, and Crumbleys