Oxford High School students soft launch back into classrooms for the first time since school shooting

Posted at 3:27 PM, January 10, 2022 and last updated 9:55 PM, July 18, 2023

By: Alex Bozarjian

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, MI (WXYZ) — The lives of 1,800 teenagers who attend Oxford High School were forever changed on November 30.

Police say a classmate brought a gun to school and killed four students. The school has been on pause ever since.

FILE – Handwritten messages are left at the memorial site at the memorial site on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, outside Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., after a 15-year-old allegedly killed these four classmates, and injured seven others in a shooting inside the northern Oakland County school one week earlier. School officials around the country are planning to step up security Friday in response to social media posts warning of violence. The anonymous threats on TikTok had many educators on edge because they are circulating in the aftermath of a deadly school shooting in Michigan. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP, File)

“Our teachers want their students. They want to be back with them as quickly as possible,” Deputy Superintendent Ken Weaver said in a video message to families.

The scene of the crime is still under renovation after extensive damage from the shooting. District leaders say students from Oxford High School and Bridges, the alternative high school in town, will rotate between in-person and virtual schedules.

All of the in-person learning will take place at Oxford Middle School until the high school building reopens on January 24.

“We need to take care of all of them and consider all of their needs,” Superintendent Weaver said. “And to try to do that, with one plan is extremely difficult, but we think we have succeeded to a large degree.”

Practice for winter high school sports will start back up on January 10, but all other parts of the OHS building will be closed off for another two weeks.

The school has also hired a private security firm and will have a larger presence of mental health workers and law enforcement in the school.

On top of using clear backpacks, they are also discussing adding metal detectors and police dogs to sniff for weapons.

Renovations to OHS are scheduled to be completed during the week of January 17 and even with weeks of lost classes, parents were told the school year will not have to be extended.

The school plans to host three open house opportunities for OHS students and families to visit the high school together before they transition back to the building the week of January 24.

This story was originally published January 10, 2022, by WMXI in West Michigan.