Oxford parents express concerns over school security

Posted at 10:02 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 22:02:18-04

OXFORD, Mich. (WXYZ) — Ahead of Monday night's Oxford school board meeting, parents expressed concerns over high school security and protocols.

Parents who spoke with 7 Action News say not much has changed at the high school since the Nov. 30 mass shooting other than clear backpacks and ID checks. The district says a number of steps have been taken and that student safety is a priority.

Lori Bourgeau, whose son is a junior, said her child still doesn't feel safe and that more can and should be done.

"To have more police officers within the school. He believes the school has four quadrants. There should be four school resource officers. They should be patrolling within the school during the day. They should be at the entry portions when people are coming in and going out," she explained.

Andrea Jones, whose son is also a junior said, “We don’t have the strong police presence that they told us we would have. A lot of these kids are not going to lunch. They don’t feel comfortable in there. So a lot of these kids wander the halls.”

Before Nov. 30, the high school had one resource officer. Jill Lemond, an assistant superintendent of student services, told 7 Action News a second school resource officer has been hired to staff the middle school.

“Between the two of them, they can help us with any situation that might arise. We have a very strong relationship with Oakland County Sheriff's Office, and any additional cars in the area typically come and give us extra patrols and their command staff actually is frequently in our high school," Lemond explained.

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She said the district has hired its own private security firm that sends security guards to the school in the morning to check IDs. Lemond said other adults assist with this as well as help to check in any bag that isn’t a backpack. She said lockers aren’t being used right now in order to avoid the loud, triggering noises. Lemond also said six to eight therapy dogs are in use.

To meet parents' concerns, she said it takes working together.

“Ultimately, we’re going to have to balance the needs of all students," Lemond said. "We have nearly 2,000 students at that school who are all across the gamut of emotional needs in where they’re at."

Parents are also calling for a third-party review of the events of Nov. 30, they say, in order to know what further security measures should be put in place.