Oxford parents outraged by board decision to decline AG review of school shooting

Linda and Aiden Watson.jpg
Posted at 9:27 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 23:17:03-04

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — While some parents say they are disappointed, others say they aren’t surprised by the Oxford Community Schools board decision to not accept Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s offer to do a third-party review of the deadly shooting.

The decision was made by the school board Tuesday. This is the second time the district has turned down Nessel’s offer.

Buck Myre, the father of Tate Myre, one of the four students killed in the tragic shooting, says this is an admission of guilt.

“They know things didn’t go right that day. They don’t want to fix it,” Myre said.

He wants the Oxford school board to be held accountable.

“I think it’s important to the community and the parents who have kids at the school to get to the bottom of why this happened,” he said.

During Tuesday’s meeting, board President Tom Donnelly said the district is holding off on a third-party investigation for now.

Myre says, “It’s embarrassing. It’s poor leadership.”

At the meeting, Donnelly mentioned that an independent review could interfere with the current criminal investigation being done by Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald.

Linda Watson’s freshman son Aiden was inside the high school when the shooting happened on Nov. 30, 2021.

He was shot. Watson recently met with McDonald.

“We asked her (McDonald) are they not allowed to do this? Are you not going to cooperate? And she said, that is absolutely not true,” Watson said.

7 Action News reached out to McDonald’s office for clarification.

In a statement Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor David Williams says:

“We believe that an independent investigation can be conducted without interfering in any way with the criminal case."

"I'm confused to why the excuses. Is it because you are hiding behind something?” Meghan Gregory asked.

Gregory’s son, like Watson, was also shot inside the school.

She says he doesn’t feel safe going back to school.

“That day terrified us. We didn't know if our kid was going to made it. We knew he was in the bathroom with the shooter. We need to know our other four kids are safe going back to school,” Gregory said.

Nessel says she’s not trying to assign blame, but wants to improve school safety for Oxford and all schools in Michigan.

Nessel released a full statement:

“I am deeply disappointed by the school board’s repeated rejection of my offers to perform an independent and thorough review of the systems and procedures in the days leading up to and on November 30, 2021. My goal is not to assign blame but to help identify ways to improve school safety for Oxford and all schools in Michigan. The school board’s unwillingness to partner with my department on this effort flies in the face of transparency. The rejection sends a message that the board is more focused on limiting liability than responding to the loud outcry from the Oxford community to deliver greater peace of mind to the students, parents and educators that lived through this traumatic event.

“My department can only perform an exhaustive and thorough review when we have the full cooperation of the school board and district. Absent that partnership, I am restricted to the publicly available information we have all read and reviewed. Despite this outcome, I will return to Oxford in the coming weeks and continue my work to be a resource to the community. This latest setback does not deter my efforts to share best practices across our state in order to help all schools improve the safety and security of their learning environments.”