Superintendent Told Parents There Was ‘No Threat,’ Lawsuit Claims

  • The Oxford schools superintendent told parents there was “absolutely no threat” at the school just weeks before the deadly shooting, according to a lawsuit filed by parents at the school. 
  • He then warned students via loudspeaker to “stop relying on information on social media,” the lawsuit claims. 
  • Four students died and seven others were injured when a student opened fire at the school last month. 

The superintendent of Oxford schools told parents there was “absolutely no threat” at the high school after concerned parents reported violent social media posts by the suspected shooter weeks before the deadly shooting, a lawsuit filed against the school alleges. 

The federal lawsuit claims Superintendent Timothy Throne then warned students over the loudspeaker at the high school to “stop spreading information over social media and to stop relying on information on social media” and said there was no danger to the school.

The suit was filed Thursday by the parents of one of the students who was shot in the neck and wounded in the attack on November 30.

Students and parents became concerned in the weeks leading up to the deadly shooting when the 15-year-old suspect — a student at the high school — began to post “countdowns and threats of bodily harm, including death, on his social media accounts,” the lawsuit claims. 

Parents warned the superintendent and the school principal of the posts as early as November 16, the lawsuit said. 

After investigating the social media posts, the principal emailed concerned parents saying “there is absolutely no threat at the HS…large assumptions were made from a few social media posts, then the assumptions evolved into exaggerated rumors,” the lawsuit claims. 

The superintendent followed up on that email, further reassuring parents there was no threat at the school, according to the lawsuit.

The suspect allegedly posted warnings of “violent tendencies and murderous ideology” in the weeks leading up to coming to school with a gun, according to the lawsuit.

Despite these warnings, the school allowed the suspect to remain in class and return to the school each of the following days. 

Oxford School District said Throne was not available to comment on the lawsuit on Thursday morning. The district did not immediately provide a comment on the suit.

The lawsuit seeks at least $100 million in damages.

Prosecutors say the suspect brought a gun purchased by his parents to the school, and allege the teen killed four students and injured seven other people during the shooting.

The teen and his parents had a meeting with the school hours before the shooting to discuss his behavior, according to prosecutors. The school requested the parents bring their child home following the meeting, but the parents refused. The suspect returned to class without having his backpack searched, prosecutors said. 

The suspect has been charged with 24 counts, including 4 counts of first-degree murder and terrorism.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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