Superintendent of Oxford Schools ‘clarifies’ incidents before and after mass shootings

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OXFORD, Mich. – The Superintendent of Community Schools in Oxford released a statement this week in an effort to ‘clarify’ incidents that occurred prior to the November 30, 2021 mass shooting at Oxford High School.

Eleven people were hit by gunfire inside the school that day, four of whom were killed: Hana St. Juliana, 14, Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and 17 year. Justin Shilling.

Sophomore Ethan Crumbley, 15, faces 24 adult charges in connection with the mass shooting. He is accused of being the lone shooter and of opening fire with a handgun. His parents also face manslaughter charges.

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Meanwhile, students at Oxford High School have started to resume classes at Oxford Middle School and Oxford Bridges High School. The Oxford High School building is expected to be ready this week. Students must physically return to the building the week of January 24.

In his letter to the community on Tuesday, Superintendent Tim Throne addressed a deer head that was found at the school on November 4, the head of a bird found in a jar at the school on November 11 , claims live ammunition was found at the school, tips sent to law enforcement, what the district knew — or didn’t know — about the alleged shooter’s social media posts, the training which, according to him, saved lives that day inside the high school and the response of law enforcement.

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Here is the full letter from the Throne titled “January 18 Clarification from Supt.” :

Dear Wildcat Nation,

We were thrilled to see so many OHS students in middle school over the past two weeks. We heard a lot of positive comments and also heard that students needed a place to share their opinions. To that end, Principal Steve Wolf and OHS staff are working to identify the best forum to ensure students have a voice and can share their needs in a safe space among trusted adults.

Unfortunately, there have been many irresponsible and false allegations as well as inaccurate claims regarding Oxford Community Schools. In addition, we have received several inquiries related to the events leading up to the tragic incident of November 30. We feel it is important to clarify the details that we can address at this stage.

1. The deer head incident which occurred on November 4 was investigated by law enforcement and was in no way related to the perpetrator of the November 30 incident. Social media posts that students shared after this event with OHS were also investigated and shared with law enforcement. They were also in no way related to the perpetrator of the November 30 incident.

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2. On November 11, the a bird’s head was found in a jar in the OHS student toilets. It was brought to the attention of law enforcement and investigated. In addition to school staff viewing video footage over two days and interviewing several students, law enforcement investigated the bird’s head incident prior to Nov. 30 and determined that it there was no threat to the school. They were unable to determine when or how the jar was delivered. No threats or other content accompanied the strange act.

3. Allegations about finding live ammunition at school are completely untrue. We have no records or reports of reported live ammunition at any school and have strict protocols and procedures in place regarding weapons on school grounds.

4. Everything OK2SAY advice for this period (01/11/21-11/30/21) has been passed on to law enforcement. Every tip has been fully researched by law enforcement. The only actionable information received was on November 17 from an anonymous tip that a student, who is no longer an Oxford High School student and not the author of November 30, was responsible for the bird’s head.

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5. The the district was unaware of the attacker’s social media presence or related posts until after the November 30 incident.

6. The school administration and Pam Fine did not interact with the perpetrator on Nov. 30 prior to the incident. The meeting with the abuser only included the counselor and the dean of students.

7. Our ALICE’s emergency response to the horrific situation presented on November 30 has saved lives. Our students and staff should be proud. Our high school administration, including Principal Steve Wolf, Kristy Gibson-Marshall and Kurt Nuss, raced to the incident to efficiently rescue the children, administer the injured aid and locate the perpetrator, putting themselves in danger. . As an administrative team, we are extremely proud of their courageous efforts that day.

8. At the time, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office then secured the high school grounds. In doing so, they also took over all communications and provided assistance to injured students, limiting our administrators’ ability to share information.

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9. We have always taken threats very seriously and will continue to listen to students and parents who report threats to the district. By reminding everyone to “say something if you see something”, we are in no way suggesting that our community has ever shied away from doing so in the past.

The school district will respond in detail to the false allegations and reckless statements made by Mr. Fieger. The county attorney asked the school district not to comment unduly on the details surrounding the case to avoid interference in criminal proceedings. Their efforts to obtain justice for the victims of these criminal acts are a priority at this time. Your many questions will be answered shortly as the criminal prosecution progresses and the school district responds to Mr. Fieger’s inaccurate record.

These false allegations should not diminish the exemplary actions of our school staff on November 30. Principal Wolf, school administrators, teachers and support staff have completed their training and implemented our district’s detailed emergency plans and protocols. Specifically, they placed the safety of our students above their own safety when criminal conduct forced our community to endure this unimaginable tragedy.

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We look forward to our return to school next week and look forward to letting the truth and the facts prevail throughout the criminal investigation and any subsequent legal proceedings.

As a community, we will walk through this with love and grace for one another.

Tim Throne, Superintendent


Related: Civil suit against Oxford School District, personnel amended to include new charges

Total coverage: Oxford High School shooting

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