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The Wave

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Morning Announcements - 2/23/24
February 23, 2024

Announcements   Good morning Marco Island Academy, today is Friday, February 23rd, 2024,  and these are your morning announcements!...

Oxford School Shooter Awaits Maximum Sentence

+Photo+via+Unsplash+under+Unsplash+License++November+21st+marks+the+anniversary+of+the+tragic+school+shooting+in+Oxford%2C+Michigan.
Photo via Unsplash under Unsplash License November 21st marks the anniversary of the tragic school shooting in Oxford, Michigan.

On November 30th, 2021, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley fatally shot four students and wounded seven others, including one teacher, at Oxford High School located in Oxford, Michigan.

The shooter, now 17, has just pled guilty to 1 count of terrorism involving death, 4 counts of first-degree murder, and 19 charges further relating to the massacre. On Friday, September 29th, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwame Rowe ruled that Crumbley now faces eligibility for life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prior to his trial, Crumbley was said to have committed several offenses in custody after his arrest, including bypassing technical security to watch violent material on the internet, according to Rowe. Crumbley was explained to have a predetermined ‘obsession’ with violence, leading the judge to believe that any chance of rehabilitation is unlikely.

However, with Crumbley’s formal sentencing approaching on December 8th, there is still a pending possibility that he could receive a life sentence with parole, rather than without.

November 30th is “Wildcats Remembrance Day” dedicated to honoring the lives of those lost.

Jennifer and James Crumbley, the teen’s parents, remain incarcerated as well, awaiting trial for their charge of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Officials have stated that the parents willingly provided easy access to a firearm, and reportedly disregarded their son’s alarming behavior prior to the shooting. It was also provided in a statement written by a panel of judges that Crumbley had previously reached out to his parents to seek guidance for his mental health, a request that the couple ultimately ignored.

“The court finds that the defendant’s parents frequently left him alone since an early age, that his parents frequently used alcohol and argued in front of the defendant, that his parents failed to take his mental health seriously, and that his father bought him the gun that he used in the school shooting,” Rowe said.

Though the court acknowledged the argument that the defendant’s troubled home life may have been a contributing factor leading up to the fatal rampage, it was found that the 17-year-old was the “sole participant in the underlying crime,” according to Rowe. Prosecutors similarly reasoned that the clear premeditation of the attack alone was enough to justify such an extreme sentence, as several audio recordings from Crumbley were played in court, highlighting disturbing messages such as, “I am going to be the next school shooter,” and, “It’s going to be so much fun.”

Crumbley’s defense attorney Paulette Loftin requested from the court parole time with the chance of rehabilitation. However, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald argued that the defendant’s act can not be justified and that the circumstances do not outweigh the devastation of the shooting.

Several students and faculty who survived the attack testified at the September hearing, presenting their experiences and perspectives of the shooting. Survivors and family members of students lost are expected to provide similar victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing in Pontiac before Crumbley’s sentencing on December 8th, as the community continues to mourn the losses of these students and await justice.

According to an Education Week analysis, as of October 3rd, 2023, there have been a total of 31 school shootings this year resulting in injury or death. In 2022, there were a total of 51 fatal school shootings, the highest number recorded in a single year since tracking began in 2018. This pattern suggests that the number of gun violence incidents within school settings will only continue to grow if intensive action is not taken.

Wildcats Remembrance Day falls on November 30th, honoring the lives of the four students lost to the Oxford school shooting. To learn more about gun violence, click here. To read more about the Oxford tragedy or donate to the victim’s families, visit the attached article below. 

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Annabelle Frazer, Editor-in-Chief
Annabelle Frazer is a senior at Marco Island Academy, and the Editor-In-Chief of The Wave. At any given moment, Annabelle enjoys listening to music, going to concerts, and panicking about the future. She loves cats, fashion, the color black, and will do anything for an ice-cold Shirley Temple. After high school, Annabelle would love to attend college and obtain her master's degree in journalism, and fight to change the world. However, she would also settle for one more cat instead.
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