OXFORD, Mich. — Heavily criticized Oxford School Board Chairman Tom Donnelly resigned from his post months after a school shooting in Michigan left four people dead.
Seven people, including a teacher, were shot dead at Oxford High School in Oxford Township last November when a gunman allegedly opened fire. Ethan Crumbley, a then 15-year-old student, is charged with 24 counts after he allegedly shot dead four of his classmates on November 30. Crumbley’s parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, are also charged with four counts of manslaughter after they allegedly failed to recognize their son’s warning signs in the months leading up to the shooting.
The three Crumbleys have pleaded not guilty to their charges.
In an announcement to students and parents on Wednesday, Superintendent Ken Weaver announced Donnelly’s resignation effective immediately, thanking him for his “years of dedicated service.”
The school board has rejected repeated offers from the Michigan attorney general’s office to investigate the shooting, prompting backlash from community members. At the time, the school board said it would launch its own third-party investigation into the shooting after civil lawsuits against the district were filed.
Months after the shooting, multiple lawsuits against the school district, the alleged shooter and his parents are pending. In June, a circuit court judge issued a ruling requiring the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, the county and the Oxford Community School District to release evidence, including video footage, related to the shooting. of November in the school.
A coalition of parents and students at Oxford High School called #Change4Oxford applauded Donnelly’s decision, criticizing his lack of transparency following the shooting. The band also thanked Donnelly for “recognizing his limitations and stepping down,” in a statement.
“The announcement of Tom Donnelly’s resignation brings some relief to parents and students looking to improve communications and secure policies that enhance safety as well as accountability for our district. Mr. Donnelly has not been transparent regarding the events of November 30, 2021,” Andrea Jones, a parent from Oxford, said in a statement to ABC News.
“After 10 long months without answers, I hope his replacement will actively take the lead in the healing process this community so desperately deserves,” Jones added.
Lori Bourgeau, another Oxford parent with #Change4Oxford, said in a statement that the resignation came 10 months too late, listing many things Donnelly “could have” done. Some of these things included replacing the person in charge of school security with an expert to deal with necessary security changes, ensuring staff had proper training to deal with traumatized students and teachers, directed additional funds directed to the district to obtain mental health professionals for staff and students and replaced the superintendent with someone from outside the district.
Donnelly did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
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