Oxford High School teachers are being criticized following revelations that they didn’t search Ethan Crumbley’s backpack or locker after he was found with disturbing images of firearms. He and his parents were brought into the office for a disciplinary meeting, but after they all had a discussion, the student was sent back to class.

“We haven’t ruled out charging anyone,” said Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald, who did not reveal why a search of Ethan Crumbley’s backpack and locker was not conducted.

According to the timeline of events, teachers held a meeting with Crumbley, 15, and his parents, after they found him searching for ammunition online and sketching disturbing drawings of guns and children bleeding on the floor.

“The thoughts won’t stop. Help me,” a note read next to the drawings. “Blood everywhere… my life is useless, the world is dead.”

After his parents said that they had to return to work and left their son at the school, he was reportedly allowed to return to class, where he promptly opened fire in the hallway. Seen entering a bathroom with his backpack, he returned without the backpack, gun in hand.

Killing four students and injuring another seven people, Crumbley’s actions may have been entirely prevented had the school not only refused to let him back into class, but searched his backpack and locker for any signs of firearms.

Investigators are currently trying to decide what actions should be taken to “hold the people responsible who allowed that to happen.”

“Any individual who had the opportunity to stop this tragedy should have done so,” Karen McDonald stated. “The question is what did they know and when did they know it.”

According to Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne, he felt that “no discipline was warranted,” and believed Crumbley when he said that the art was “part of a video game he was designing.”

The school counselors “conclude[d] he did not intend on committing either self-harm or harm to others,” and let him back into class with no previous infractions of bad behavior on his school record.

James and Jennifer Crumbley, Ethan Crumbley's parents who were arrested for evading authorities
James and Jennifer Crumbley, Ethan Crumbley’s parents who were arrested for evading authorities. Photo Credit: Facebook

In the disciplinary meeting, his parents confirmed that they had recently purchased a gun and were using it with their son for target practice just a couple of days prior.

According to The Washington Post, they left their son at the school in a huff after they were told that Children’s Protective Services would be called if they did not seek professional counseling for Ethan Crumbley within 48 hours.

“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,” Superintendent Throne said.

Investigators, however, were shocked to learn that his backpack and locker were not inspected, which the school had every right to do without the need of a search warrant, especially after learning about the recently purchased firearm at the disciplinary meeting.

Crumbley’s actions did not lead to Ethan Crumbley’s suspension before the shooting, and none of the teachers or guidance counselors have received any sort of reprimand after failing to prevent the tragedy.

One teacher has been suspended in a separate incident after explaining to students in violent detail how Ethan Crumbley could have methodically killed even more students.

According to Michigan’s Association of Secondary School Principals handbook, “schools do not need a warrant of even ‘probable cause’ before searching a student.”

“Reasonable suspicion” is all a Michigan school needs to search a student’s person or belongings, and exists as long as a school official “has objective, articulable grounds to suspect that the search will provide evidence that the student is violating the law or a school rule.”

“It’s extraordinary to me, it’s just utterly baffling,” said David Brill, a lawyer in Florida who represented four families in the Parkland shooting.

“Knowing what we know about just how horribly commonplace school shootings are,” he told The Washington Post, “that guidance counselors in this case could be that incredibly presumptuous that this kid doesn’t pose a threat.”

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard announced that law enforcement is currently gathering information and will present it to Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald to determine if any charges should be released, or if anyone at the school will be held liable.