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Will parents be held responsible if their child is a school shooter?

Jennifer Crumbley will be sentenced in April, and her husband James will face trial on the same charges in early March.
Posted at 8:30 PM, Feb 07, 2024

After a historic guilty verdict in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Jennifer Crumbley — the mother of a teen who killed four students at a Michigan high school in 2021 — Craig Shilling, who lost his son Justin in the massacre, told Scripps News the judgment doesn't provide closure.

"There's still more people that we feel should be held accountable," said Shilling. 

Tony Montalto, whose daughter Gina died in the Parkland School shooting six years, ago expressed similar thoughts.

"We can't let the school off the hook either because they failed to use proper behavioral threat assessment," said Montalto. 

But others ,like defense attorney Chandelle Summer, worry the conviction sets a dangerous precedent for parents.

"To basically second-guess every decision that a parent makes and have some type of formula for how you're supposed to address problems with the troubled child — to me that's a different level of responsibility," said Summer. 

Gun rights advocate Rob Pincus believes the jury got it right.

"We don't need extra laws that mandate special rules around guns. What we need is to hold people responsible when their actions result in something tragic happening," said Pincus. 

Kris Brown, the president of the gun violence prevention group Brady, agrees parents need to be held accountable, but she argues preventative laws encouraging responsible purchasing and safe storage will save lives.

"Firearms is the number one killer of children in America. Shame on us. And we should be looking at every solution," said Brown. 

Crumbley's son was sentenced to life in prison without parole and Crumbley herself will be sentenced in April. Her husband, James will face trial on the same charges in early March.

Mother of Michigan school shooter found guilty of manslaughter
Jennifer Crumbley, mother of the Oxford High School shooter.

Mother of Michigan school shooter found guilty of manslaughter

The jury of six men and six women reached its decision on its second day of deliberations.