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Parents of student killed at Great Mills High School sues county school board

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Posted at 4:10 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 16:12:15-05

TIMONIUM, Md. (WMAR) — A federal lawsuit has been filed over the 2018 shooting at Great Mills High School that left a student dead and another injured.

Parents of tenth grader Jaelynn Willey are suing the school board.

They allege staff knew the gunman was harassing and abusing their daughter on school grounds after their relationship ended.

According to the lawsuit, Willey's parents warned their daughter's swim coach about concerns they had with her ex-boyfriend, Austin Rollins.

RELATED: Evidence shows that Great Mills High School shooter shot himself, 911 calls released

Rollins killed Willey outside a classroom on March 20, before he was approached by a school resource officer and committed suicide.

The lawsuit claims the school failed to provide adequate safety measures, citing violent threats made against the school less than 24-hours before the incident, and also a month prior.

READ MORE: Sheriff's office: Teen shot in Maryland school shooting dies

Lawyers for the Willey family believe the school could've used metal detectors, surveillance cameras, and other measures to prevent the incident.

Superintendent Dr. J. Scott Smith released the following statement in response to the lawsuit.

"The death of Jaelynn Willey was a tragedy and the entire school community mourns her loss. However, the contention that school staff could have somehow prevented this tragedy is incorrect. The school system has worked closely with the Sheriff’s Department and the Maryland Center for School Safety, and there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that any employee of the St. Mary’s County Public Schools had any reason to foresee the tragic shooting that took place at Great Mills High School on March 20, 2018. As a school community, we will continue to support the Willey family in any way that we can."