Community given time to speak at Oxford school board’s first meeting since shooting: ‘I am absolutely devastated’

School board outlines safety measures in aftermath of mass shooting

Tuesday marked exactly two weeks since four students were killed and seven people were injured in a shooting at Oxford High School.

OXFORD, Mich. – Tuesday marked exactly two weeks since four students were killed and seven people were injured in a shooting at Oxford High School.

Oxford Community Schools were closed during the day after school officials were notified about a threat directed at the middle school on Monday (Dec. 13). The building was cleared by authorities and a school board meeting went on as scheduled.

School officials said they still don’t have a date for the reopening of the high school. They said they have a goal of getting students back into the classroom as soon as possible. School leaders said officials in school districts that have experienced shootings said that is what’s best for students. The high school will not be ready by Jan. 3 or Jan 4., as officials had initially hoped.

Read: Oxford school officials speak ahead of first board meeting since high school shooting: ‘We have been shaken to our core’

“What we know, based upon what we’ve heard, is it’s important that we get our kids back in our building as soon as possible. That is our goal. We’ll give you some updates along the way as we get more information on when the date might be,” superintendent Tim Throne said.

The school board approved a review of the events leading up to the shooting to be done by an outside firm. New safety measures were discussed that include not allowing students to have backpacks (unless they’re clear) and students will not have lockers.

Parents and community members attended the meeting and were given time to speak during the meeting.

“Never in my 43 years did I ever expect my 8-year-old child to ask me if -- me sending her to school, if she was gonna die. She asked me that question the other day. And to tell you my heart broke, is an understatement. I am absolutely devastated,” parent Shane Gibson said. “My daughter, my son will live with this for the rest of their lives. I guess, I’m asking from a father, from a concerned citizen, what are we going to do? Aside from these security measures I’ve heard you guys talking about. How are we going to get back to some normalcy.”

One parent made it clear that they do not trust the administration because of how it says the accused shooter was dealt with prior to the shooting.

“The fact is clear. He was told that he needed help. He was told that he needed to go home. His parents dictated that they weren’t taking him. It wasn’t an option. It’s not an option. If they don’t want to take him, the right people should have been called. Period,” Brian Cooper said.

After the school board meeting was adjourned, the school announced on its website that all district buildings would be closed for the rest of the week after the community expressed concern regarding the safety of students.

About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.