‘Everything about us is tough’: Oxford High School student remembers friend killed in shooting on first day back

Students returned to renovated high school on Jan. 24

Oxford High School student Olivia Dare, 16, wanted to get back to school to see her friends and return to some normalcy -- but she admits Monday morning she did feel a wave of emotions.

OXFORD, Mich. – Oxford High School student Olivia Dare, 16, wanted to get back to school to see her friends and return to some normalcy -- but she admits Monday morning she did feel a wave of emotions.

High school students returned to the building Monday, for the first time since the Nov. 30 mass shooting that injured seven and killed four students.

Dare shared a little bit about how she felt about her first day back at Oxford High School. Even though the school was renovated, she is still walking the same hallways where one of her best friends lost his life in the Nov. 30 mass shooting.

“It was definitely -- everyone’s talking about it. Like, ‘I don’t want to go down this hall.’ And they actually set up first, that we’re just going to have one-way hallways, and then right in first hour they changed it in case students felt uncomfortable going down a certain hall.

Read: Student shares what it’s like to return to Oxford High School: ‘Everyone’s just so supportive’

Dare has done a lot of healing and growing since Local 4′s Karen Drew first sat down with her two months ago, just one day after the shooting.

At that time she wanted to talk about her childhood friend and football star, Tate Myre, who died in the shooting. She wanted to speak about him on Monday (Jan. 24) too.

“Everyone just loved him,” Dare said. “When I thought about him today, it was what he said, that ‘everything about us is tough.’ And I feel like I just kept that in my head the whole day -- and Tate would want us to come back stronger from this. So, having that helps me, just in my head.

Read: Fundraiser started to help family of Oxford High School shooting victim Tate Myre

It was a tough day for many students.

“It was a little hard to concentrate, but the classrooms were a lot easier than the hallway,” Dare said.

The new paint and upgrades made it better, but still, it was a challenge.

“It would probably be super hard, but I would have liked to see, like, maybe different hallway structures. So, we’re not walking the same paths that we did,” Dare said.

What the rest of the week will hold is unknown, but Dare says she feels the strength. She said all the teachers are very supportive and always giving hugs.

The 15-year-old accused shooter is facing 24 felony charges as an adult and is currently awaiting trial. His parents are also facing four involuntary manslaughter charges.

Read: Complete Oxford High School Shooting coverage


About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.

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