The morning Ethan Crumbley drew a picture of a gun and blood on his math homework sheet, and scrawled the words "The thoughts won't stop, help me," he should have been sent home under the Oxford, Michigan school district's own threat assessment policy, only it was never used and no one was ever trained for it, two whistleblowers allege, the Detroit Free Press reports. Instead, they say, school officials caved to Ethan's parents' demands that their son be returned to class that morning — when officials had the authority to remove him — and bloodshed followed. The teenager shot and killed four classmates and injured six other students and a teacher at Oxford High. According to the whistleblowers, it was the second time in 24 hours that school officials mishandled Crumbley, alleging the teen also should have been sent home the day before the shooting, when he was caught researching bullets on his cellphone in class. They say that under the district's policy, such activity is grounds for removal.
The policy was ignored that day, too, they allege, stressing that the school district has tried to keep this information secret. Nearly one year after the deadly Oxford school shooting, two former school board members spoke out Monday about what they allege are key missteps by the district before Crumbley carried out the Nov. 30 shooting using a gun his parents bought him as an early Christmas present. Crumbley pleaded guilty last month to all counts and faces up to life in prison, with no chance for parole. The whistleblowers are former school board President Tom Donnelly and Treasurer Korey Bailey. Both resigned two months ago out of frustration over the district's handling of the shooting investigation. They allege the shooting was preventable had the district followed its own playbook, the outline of which has not previously been divulged to the public. They maintain that Oxford school officials have led the community to believe that they did everything right and that a bad thing still happened. The facts, they allege, show that the officials could have prevented the tragedy.