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Navigating Schools' Liability Shifts Following the Oxford High School Shooting

April 25, 2022

The following article preview was written by Ross Young, Executive Vice President at Linewize. It originally appeared on The Journal, a website dedicated to informing and educating K-12 leaders on how to improve and advance the learning process through the use of technology.

A Michigan school district is being held legally accountable for the tragic shooting that took place at its Oxford High School last year, marking an undeniable shift in liability when it comes to school shootings. From this point on, it’s clear that school districts will be held responsible for acts of violence on campuses, regardless of whether they had the right technology and protocols in place to help staff identify warning signs and take appropriate preventative action. 

In this case, Oxford Community Schools is facing three lawsuits in federal and state courts — each seeking $100 million in damages — that allege the district administrators and staff members ignored warning signs and disturbing behavior exhibited by the eventual shooter. Filed on behalf of students who survived the shooting, the lawsuits accuse Oxford Superintendent Tim Throne and others of knowing about threats, failing to prevent the shooting, and putting students in danger. 

While protecting students’ safety should always be a school district’s No. 1 priority, it has become impossible to ignore the legal consequences at stake. Now more than ever, it’s in school districts’ best interest to adopt the technology and tools needed to appropriately monitor student behavior and help staff members navigate signs of potential violence. Adopting these proactive tools illustrates effort and good faith by the district, as they use all tools available to guard students’ safety and prevent such incidents.

To learn more about how to take a proactive approach to maintaining and improving student safety, read the full article at the Journal


Topics: Violence, student safety

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