Should More People be Held Responsible for the Oxford High School Shooting?


By Manuela Gonzalez, Social Media Editor

After the tragic Oxford High School shooting that happened on November 30, 2021, 15-year-old suspected shooter Ethan Crumbley is facing 24 charges, four of them including four counts of first-degree murder. However, after more information was discovered, there is a new question: are there more people that need to be charged?

On December 5th, Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were held in custody and were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter and were given the possibility of a sentence of up to 60 years in prison and maximum fines of $30,000. These charges are attributed to the easy access their son had to a gun and failure to tell school officials about it. 

Despite the parents being charged, the school too had seen the signs of a troubling Ethan Crumbley. Two teachers reported concerning behaviors from Ethan Crumbley a day before the school shooting happened. One of these reports happened just hours before the shooting occurred. The reports included graphic drawings with violent images and pleas for help. Crumbley spent time that day sitting in the office, while the school reached his parents and discussed Ethan’s situation. After the parents refused to take Ethan home for the day more questions arise as to why the school did not take further precautions and what could have been done.

Clearly, the school should have taken more responsibility and the matter more seriously especially with all the signs shown by Ethan and the negligence of his parents. Both the parents and the school need to take responsibility for their actions.

Many students at Wayne Hill agree with this. Yara Shobut, a junior at Wayne Hills, says, “I think both school administrators, as well as Ethan Crumbley’s parents, should be held responsible. The parents could have found a therapist especially when they saw the sign of early on and encouraging their child to not get caught with only perpetuate the behavior of sweeping things under the rug and not facing issues when they appear. Since they didn’t acknowledge the signs, matters only got worse and that is partly to blame on the parents. The school counselor should have taken action when they notice the signs of unstable mental behavior in this child as well.” 

Sofia Wunej, another iunior at Wayne Hills, also commented on this by saying “ Both the school and his parents are the main support system and they both failed to do their jobs. The school after calling his parents allowed him to go back to his class and the parents are responsible for being irresponsible parents and not doing anything to stop Ethan from taking these actions”. 

Although both the parents and the school have a part to take responsibility for, it was the action of Ethan Crumbley that led to 4 children being murdered, and seven more being injured.