The superintendent for the Michigan school district whose high school witnessed a school shooting earlier this week said in a lengthy letter on Saturday that a third party would conduct an investigation into the incident.
“Following yesterday’s press conference by the Oakland County Prosecutor, many of our parents have understandably been asking for the school’s version of events leading up to the shooting. It’s critically important to the victims, our staff and our entire community that a full and transparent accounting be made,” Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne said in his letter.
“To that end, I’ve asked for a third-party investigation be conducted so we leave no stone unturned, including any and all interaction the student had with staff and students,” he added.
Throne also defended the decision to keep the 15-year-old school suspect in the shooting, Ethan Crumbley, in school even after a teacher found concerning drawings he had made on the morning of the shooting and school officials subsequently met with his parents.
“When the parents were asked to take their son home for the day, they flatly refused and left without their son, apparently to return to work. Given the fact that the child had no prior disciplinary infractions, the decision was made he would be returned to the classroom rather than sent home to an empty house. These incidents remained at the guidance counselor level and were never elevated to the principal or assistant principal’s office,” Throne wrote.
“While we understand this decision has caused anger, confusion and prompted understandable questioning, the counselors made a judgment based on their professional training and clinical experience and did not have all the facts we now know,” he added.
Crumbley is accused of fatally shooting four students and injuring seven other people earlier this week at Oxford High School. He faces 24 charges.
On Friday, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald also announced that she would be charging each of his parents with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Detroit Police confirmed early Saturday that Crumbley's parents had been apprehended, and they later pleaded not guilty to their charges.