Families of Oxford shooting victims want accountability from school - but won't get it in court

The shooter has been sentenced. Both of his parents have been found guilty of gross negligence. But families of the victims of the Oxford High School shooting say that unless everyone involved takes accountability, their mission won't be finished.

"We've taken care of three legs of Nov. 30. And there's still a fourth leg and that's the school," Buck Myre said. "It's time for the school to pony up."

The school may not.

Not because of a lack of guilt - but because they're immune from prosecution.

"It doesn’t seem right, it might not seem fair, but that’s the current law that governmental immunity will protect Oxford in all likelihood," said Steve Kaplan, the West Bloomfield Township Supervisor.

While the public's attention has primarily been engrossed in the criminal cases of James and Jennifer Crumbley, a separate civil case that sought to hold the school and its faculty responsible was rejected because of the immunity shield.

Attorney Ven Johnson represented some of the victims' families in the case spoke about the hurdle on FOX 2 before.

"(It's) the only area of law in Michigan - criminal, civil, that says ‘the’ proximate cause is if you sue a governmental official," he said.

Part of the reason for the immunity shield is the practicality of suing a district. 

"We might be forced into bankruptcy and that would affect the taxpayers because the taxpayers would have to pay those judgments," said Kaplan.

Insurance would be able to cover it - but another problem arises from that.

"We do have insurance. But can you imagine how insurance premiums will skyrocket if the Supreme Court or the legislature erodes the governmental immunity protection," said Kaplan.

And unless the legislature or the supreme court allows lawsuits, schools won't have to pay.


Prosecutor: James Crumbley guilty verdict in Oxford shooting won't 'bring back these kids'

"I refuse to take a victory lap with these prosecutions. It will not bring back these kids. We have a lot more work to do," said Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald.