Many Oxford students still feel unsafe months after school shooting

Oxford
Posted at 6:23 AM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 06:52:14-04

(WXYZ) — Security concerns were the topic of conversation on Monday night during an Oxford School Board meeting.

Some parents say their children are still feeling unsafe in the wake of the deadly shooting on Nov. 30, 2021.

Parents sounded off on their concerns, and one voice that stood out among the others was Steve St. Juliana, the father of 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, who was one of the four students killed in the shooting. The others were Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre and Justin Shilling.

Steve asked the school board to consider adding photos of the victims to a memorial that is being discussed for the school. But, in a previous school board meeting, a school leader said it may be triggering.

"Is a picture of my daughter really a trigger?" Steve asked. "So many triggers in the school right now, like armed officers."

Students like Madeline, a freshman, voiced their feelings about the tragic day.

"I try and walk into that school that I call home bravely, walking in because that's what we're supposed to do. We're brave, we're strong," she said. "You shove that word strong down our throat as if it's supposed to fix anything but the real question, I ask myself is it really over?"

During the meeting, there was also a discussion of ammunition dogs, weapons detection software, gunshot detectors, digital ID scanners and alarmed floors during school hours.

Bag checks will still occur and the clear backpack policy will remain in place. Locker use is still prohibited and more officers will be brought in to help the district.

But, a conversation still needs to be had and parents like Brian Cooper wonder when the community conversation is going to happen.

"In the days since the incident, the message has remained consistent. We the community, the teachers and the students have requested a conversation. We're not looking to point fingers; we're looking to heal," Cooper said.