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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

A new verdict may finally hold parents accountable for their children’s crimes

This+new+verdict+holds+Ethan+Crumbleys+parents+liable.+Could+this+set+a+precedent+for+parent+responsibility%3F
Leo He
This new verdict holds Ethan Crumbley’s parents liable. Could this set a precedent for parent responsibility?

While the legal system often holds individuals directly responsible for their actions, questions arise regarding the role of parents in shaping the behaviors and decisions of their children. A Michigan court decision has set a new precedent of holding parents accountable.

In 2021, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley carried out a deadly school shooting at Oxford High School, killing 4 students and injuring 7. He was sentenced to life in jail without the possibility of parole.

“If you take someone’s life, what it does to their family, how many people it impacts… I definitely think there should be the severest penalties for taking someone’s life,” said School Resource Officer Rich Trovao.

The school had noticed warning signs just the previous day, including violent thoughts, drawings, and words. The school brought these signs up to Crumbley’s parents, who did not take it as seriously as the school expected.

“Our procedure is, somebody will draw something, and it gets alerted. If it’s believed that this is a safety issue for everybody on campus, then we are going to check your backpack,” said Trovao.

Crumbley’s parents were also accused of negligence, including leaving their gun safe unlocked, and ignoring Crumbley’s request for professional help.

“The parents or legal guardians are responsible for their children and what they do, to a point, right? Obviously, we are not seeing them 24 hours a day, but we have to be involved in their lives,” said Trovao.

Crumbley’s parents were sentenced to 10 years each in jail for four counts of manslaughter. It is not unreasonable to extrapolate this ruling to other crimes caused by parental negligence – for example, parents who give their child alcohol might be charged if they caused an accident as a result.

 

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