OXFORD, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit-area high school where four students were fatally shot reopened Monday for the first time since the November attack, with the school’s principal declaring “we are reclaiming our high school back.”
Oxford High School students had been attending classes at other buildings since Jan. 10. Everything “went very well” Monday morning as staff and students returned for classes for the first time since the Nov. 30 shooting, said Oxford Community Schools spokeswoman Dani Stublensky.
Four students were killed and six students and a teacher were injured in the shooting. A fellow student, Ethan Crumbley, 15, is charged with murder and other crimes. His parents also are facing charges.
The high school is in Oakland County, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit. The school’s interior has been renovated since the shooting, with new paint, wall graphics and ceiling tiles.
Principal Steve Wolf said in a video posted Sunday that construction crews had been working “tirelessly” on the renovations and that school staff worked hard to “prepare our students for a safe return to school.”
“We have been through so much to get to this moment. We’ve been grieving together, we’ve been praying together, we’ve attended funerals, vigils and memorials and we have been absolutely heartbroken. And we’ve been angry,” Wolf said in the video. “Yet we’ve been determined to carry on … And we are reclaiming our high school back.”
The district asked reporters to stay away from the school campus Monday.
“The kids are just trying to heal and recover,” Stublensky said.
A temporary memorial set up outside the school was removed before students returned. District Superintendent Tim Throne said experts advised that removing it would help students “further their healing process.” A permanent memorial is planned.
“As a community, we will get through this with love and grace for one another,” Throne said last week, referring to the school’s reopening and legal cases related to the shooting.