Oxford teachers told they don’t have to participate in third-party investigation

Posted at 5:53 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 18:19:52-04

OXFORD, Mich. (WXYZ) — The new school year in Oxford starts on Aug. 25. Major issues remain unresolved including safety, trust and transparency about what happened in the mass shooting back on Nov. 30 that killed four students and injured seven others, including a teacher.

In June, Oxford Community Schools board President Tom Donnelly admitted to 7 Action News that they are losing community trust.

The latest bombshell involves major stakeholders not participating in an independent third-party investigation into the shooting.

The school board hired Guidepost. Its website outlines several review areas including safety, training and communications.

While some teachers have already cooperated, 7 Action News has been told by multiple sources that teachers have been told by their union that they do not have to participate.

Late this afternoon, the teacher's union told 7 Action News that the advice to teachers participating in the investigation came from school district attorney Tim Mullins and they were just passing it along.

The other major bombshell started last week when parents of students who were killed and injured watched school surveillance video of the shooting in the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office. They have filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages.

The parents and their attorney Ven Johnson went public saying an armed school security guard’s actions are disturbing. She is a retired Oakland County Sheriff's Office deputy who would later say, she thought the shooting was a drill.

On the video, the parents say she is seen looking at student Tate Myre, who was shot and bleeding on the floor and later saying she thought it was makeup. She is then told this is not a drill and is seen on video with her gun drawn taking only one step into a bathroom, but not going inside to see if the room is involved in the shooting still going on.

Inside were the accused shooter Ethan Crumbley, Justin Shilling and Keegan Gregory, who ran out without being shot. Shilling was killed there.

Donnelly criticized the parents saying they were counterproductive and dividing the community in a lengthy email to Oxford families over the weekend. Donnelly has not watched the video.

Meghan Gregory did. She watched her son run for his life and told 7 Action News, “And you want to say that I didn't see what I see. It's insulting. I watched the video. Facts are facts.”

Parents are expected to go to Tuesday night’s school board meeting asking for answers including Andrea Jones who told 7 Action News, “What these families are going through, to have our school board president come out in an email to everyone in our district and say what they’re doing is dividing the community when what they’re doing is seeking justice for their children is appalling to me.”

The school board meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Performing Arts High School on the campus in Oxford.