DEARBORN, Mich. – The Dearborn Public Schools district released a statement Friday after a map posted by news outlets and on social media listed Dearborn High School as one of 18 apparent school shootings so far this year.
The statement clarified that the map included accidental discharges and a suicide in a car in a parking lot of a community college, among other incidents that were classified as school shootings.
Dearborn High made the list because a shot was fired on the evening of Jan. 26 in the parking lot. According to the district, the person who fired the shot was not a student at the school, and investigation showed that the shot may not have been fired on school property.
"Although these examples include a gun on school property, they are not comparable to the horrific mass shootings that have occurred at schools over the years," the statement read. "The district is by no means trying to minimize the incident that occurred after school outside of Dearborn High, nor are we trying to downplay the seriousness of other incidents that have occurred across the country."
Read the full statement below:
In the wake of the reporting on the terrible tragedy that occurred in Florida, there have been many additional news stories regarding school safety and the debate on gun laws. Several stories have used an interactive map showing the history of gun violence in schools over the years. This map points out any type of gun incident at a school or university. For example, there are several incidents that cite an accidental discharge of a weapon including one incident involving a law enforcement officer. Another incident points out a suicide in a car that was in a parking lot of a community college. Although these examples include a gun on school property, they are not comparable to the horrific mass shootings that have occurred at schools over the years.
The map includes a location in Dearborn where gun violence took place at a school. This incident occurred on January 26, 2018, and all information was shared with the community the night the event took place (See Superintendent’s Letter). One random shot was fired in the air by an individual who was not a Dearborn student and no one was injured. As a follow-up, the individual involved in this incident has been identified by police and they are working to bring him to justice. It was also discovered, through the investigation, there is a strong possibility that the single shot fired actually took place off school property.
The District is by no means trying to minimize the incident that occurred after school outside of Dearborn High, nor are we trying to downplay the seriousness of other incidents that have occurred across the country. We do feel that it is important to accurately identify the context of these events which sometimes can get lost in a dramatic headline, soundbite, or social media post.
To put the massive loss of life that occurred in Florida, and other places, into the same category as an incident where no one was even injured in an attempt to boost a statistic or sensationalize a headline, is a questionable practice. The event that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, and others like it, need no further sensationalizing. They stand alone as horrific tragedies that tear at our emotions.
There is no argument, violence of any type; whether caused by a gun, knife, fist, or any other object is not acceptable in a school environment. The district fully supports efforts to protect children, keep our schools safe, and eliminate guns from school property. We will continue to work with our staff, students, community, local law enforcement, and government officials to create a safe and secure learning environment for all students in the Dearborn Public Schools.