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Students seeking policy change in lawsuit against Oxford schools

FILE - The American flag flies at half-staff on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, outside of Oxford High...
FILE - The American flag flies at half-staff on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, outside of Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich. Officials planned to welcome students back to Oxford High School on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, which is reopening for the first time since four students were killed and six students and a teacher were injured during a shooting at the school on Nov. 30, 2021. The students have been attending classes at other buildings since Jan. 10. A fellow student, Ethan Crumbley, 15, is charged with murder and other crimes. His parents also are facing charges.(Jake May | Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP, File)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 9:59 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2022 at 11:52 AM EDT
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OAKLAND CO., Mich. (WNEM) - A group of students have filed a new federal lawsuit with the goal of enacting policy change at Oxford Community School District.

Change 4 Oxford, a group of Oxford Community School parents, said the lawsuit against the school district’s board and administration does not seek monetary damages. The group said it feels policy changes are necessary for effective learning to continue.

Twenty students filed the lawsuit on Friday, June 17 in the Southern Division of the Eastern District of Michigan.

The students are contending the district is violating their rights to a safe educational environment because of its actions prior to the deadly shooting at Oxford High School in November and its actions since the shooting.

The claims made by the students include:

  • Deprivation of Right to Public Education: Oxford School District and Ken Weaver deprived all students at Oxford High School of their right to a public education, and it will continue to deprive students of this right until the district undergoes a truly transparent, independent third-party review of the events leading up to the shooting on November 30, 2021 and implements new policies and practices to ensure the safety of all students at Oxford High School.
  • Monell Liability: Oxford Community School District had--and continues to have--unconstitutional policies in place, which created and/or increased the risk of the school shooting on November 30, 2021.
  • State-Created Danger: Shawn Hopkins, and Nicholas Ejak, in their roles as “state actors,” acted with deliberate indifference to create and/or increase the risk of violence on November 30, 2021, in violation of each student’s constitutional rights.
  • State-Created Danger: Timothy Throne and Steven Wolf, in their roles as “state actors” and as supervisors within Oxford High School, acted with deliberate indifference to create and/or increase the risk of violence on November 30, 2021, in violation of each student’s constitutional rights.

Examples of policy changes the students are seeking include:

  • Retraction all statements made in the course of the district’s cover story after the shooting.
  • Implementation of a fully transparent and independent third-party investigation of the actions and events leading up to the school shooting.
  • End to its practice of concealing and minimizing threats of violence and instead its engagement of full transparency regarding future threats of violence and safety concerns.
  • End to the practice of returning students to class when there is no “disciplinary issue” even when the student poses a risk of harm to himself/herself or others.
  • Securing of proper training for administrators and staff regarding the restriction of students from returning to class if they are suicidal and/or pose a risk to self or others.
  • Securing of proper training for administrators and staff regarding legal searches of student belongings when that student poses a safety risk.
  • Securing of proper training for administrators and staff regarding risk and threat assessments, especially when students are suicidal.