The community has every right to be upset

OXFORD, Michigan. (WXYZ) – Oxford Public Schools officials are trying to turn the corner to restore confidence.

The Student Council President is speaking exclusively to 7 Action News for the first time since. Nov. 30, 2021 shooting as a result, four students died and seven people were injured, including a teacher.

The district is also announcing several new safety measures at the start of the new school year this fall. This includes:

  • New electronic monitoring of schools and students
  • Armed guards in all eight school buildings
  • Gun sniffing dog in high school
  • Third Party Security Investigation Now Ongoing

It will cost $9 million with state and federal money.

“I know you’re angry, I know you’re frustrated – in a way I think you need answers for every right,” said Tom Donnelly, president of the board of Oxford Community Schools.

The school board was under intense pressure to provide these answers. One of the most outspoken was Buck Myre, the father of Tate Myre, who was one of the students killed in the shooting.

“What would it give the kids if the school stood up and took responsibility for this?” Tank told 7 Action News in May.

The president of the board of directors said that after the shooting, the board was closed in a room of curators, lawyers and public relations consultants, but was too numb to act on its own.

“From the very beginning, the voices in the room – and I’m not going to say that this is the only voice – (they) said that we should avoid talking about that day or anything related to this day, because we should not upset the accusations” Donnelly said.

Oxford School Board president speaks publicly for first time since shooting

This was when the alleged shooter and his parents went to trial and were tried by a jury.

But this spring, Auckland County Attorney Karen McDonald made it clear that Oxford officials can act and even conduct an independent third-party investigation.

The chairman of the board says they weren’t told about it directly. As a result, such conversations took place.

Publicly, the board continued to stall. 7 Action News spoke to parents who are still skeptical today.

Donnelly confirmed that the board understands how events unfolded on the day of the shooting.

“Yes, we walked around the building like a board. We had discussions about the timing,” he said.

Evidence in criminal cases includes that before this happened, there were warning signs with Ethan Crumbly being charged with the shooting.

On the day of the shooting, he was sent to the school psychologist’s office and met with his parents, who refused to take him home. They said they were too busy to do it.

Ethan was brought back to class, and the shooting happened a few hours later.

The counselor testified in the criminal case that he thought Ethan was suicidal.

“Did you think it could be prevented?” asked 7 Action News reporter Jim Kirzner.

“I can’t speak for myself because I’m speaking as council president to other council members. And there are some things that I want to say, and I don’t know if I have permission to say it from the prosecutor,” Donnelly said.

“I can see after something is over. I see that I could, should have and should have. At the moment we have to make these calls,” he continued. “(Day) don’t sweat. He doesn’t do anything that the counselors are watching. He doesn’t stumble. He doesn’t fidget. He doesn’t want his backpack.”

Litigation is ongoing over the release of the school’s surveillance video, which sources say shows everything that happened with the shooting. And the prosecutor does not want to go out even in civil suits.

These parents can come and see it. Donnelly says he hasn’t seen the video.

“No, I won’t. They tell me that it’s terrible. I went through the rounds with the officers, and that’s enough for me,” he said.

The shooting at the Uvalde, Texas school took place last month, and more information has emerged about what happened at this school than at Oxford in November.

Will it change now with this?

“Perhaps I would be interested. I would like to speak to the board members. I mean, one of the things about this particular interview is that I had to tell them I was doing this without their permission, and I don’t want to go too far without their consent as a board,” Donnelly said.

There is still a lot of healing ahead for this community as the third-party investigation continues.