Once again, school shooting warning signs are ignored

The shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan on Nov. 30 could have been prevented had the people heeded the warning signs. 

Ethan Crumbley, 15, took a gun to school and proceeded to deliberately shoot at students, killing four students and injuring seven others, including a teacher. That day, there were some major warning signs that something was wrong with him.

During a class, a teacher found a drawing on his desk depicting a shooting. Across the drawings, he had written phrases like “My life is useless” and “The world is dead.” This was a cause for alarm, and the school proceeded to hold a meeting with Ethan and his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, to discuss the drawings. The school suggested that Ethan seek counseling, but the parents refused and Ethan was allowed to go back to class. This is when Ethan began firing his gun in the halls.

His parents should have seen that Ethan was troubled at that moment and should have sought the help he clearly needed. Even if there were no disciplinary actions to be had, the school should also not have let Ethan return to class. 

Days prior to the shooting, a teacher caught Ethan looking up ammunition on school grounds. Again, his parents were notified and nothing was done. 

James Crumbley bought the gun used in the shooting four days prior to the shooting. Jennifer Crumbley then posted on social media a photo saying that the gun was meant as an early Christmas gift for Ethan.

After looking through evidence after the shooting, Lt. Tim Willis from the Oakland County Sheriff Office said that there were videos of Ethan wanting to “shoot up the school” on his phone, according to CNN.

None of these warning signs should have been ignored. His parents should also not have encouraged some of the behavior Ethan was exhibiting. 

After schools were shut down due to the pandemic, we should all have reevaluated how we approach situations like this. Enough mass school shootings have happened for any of these signs to be apparent. 

Prior to many school shootings, other people know about the thoughts of the shooter, according to The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative. Many shooters had also engaged in behavior that were clearly cries for help. And in many of the incidents, the shooters had easy access to firearms.

This report was from 2002, it is now 2021 and we have known about the signs that lead to school shootings for almost 20 years. 

How many more children need to be martyred for signs of struggle to be taken seriously?

Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Campus Times Editorial Board.

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