Details are released about Oxford High School Shooting

What does Lemont High School do to keep students and staff safe?

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Emma Arnold

The teachers can notify staff in the building at any time a crisis occurs. The teachers software includes easy access to fire rescue, staff assistance as well as the school nurse.

Leila Rexhepi and Emma Arnold

On Nov. 30, at least 30 bullets were fired in the halls of Oxford High School in Michigan resulting in the deaths of four students and physically injuring seven others.

As more details are unfolding, Oakland County prosecutor, Karen McDonald said, “My job is to protect our community from people who commit these kinds of crimes and that’s what I’m going to do.”

The suspect, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, is being charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death, four counts of first degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

He plead not guilty to the charges of first degree murder and terrorism.

Also pleading not guilty are Ethan’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley who are each facing charges of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. If guilty, they could face 15 years in prison.

What happened before the shooting?

Leila Rexhepi Information reported by CNN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the situation currently?

James, Jennifer and Ethan Crumbley have been reported to be in the same jail as for now but isolated from each other. The parents have also been given a bond of $500,000 each from Judge Julie Nicholson.

“We have to do better and I’m committed to seeking justice for the victims of the Oxford High School shooting,” said McDonald.

On Dec. 3, a vigil was held for the victims of the shooting in downtown Oxford. The individuals who were physically injured during the shooting are said to be making their recoveries.

McDonald said on Friday, “While the physical wounds of the victims are starting to heal, the emotional wounds to the victims, students and the entire community will last for years.”

Students and schools around the country are having mixed reactions to what happened in Oxford. Some are in complete shock that this has happened once again while others aren’t.

Junior Dannie Arabe shared, “It only took a global pandemic to stop school shootings for a while.” They further shared, “Knowing the signs of a school shooting is important but not allowing these kids to have access to these guns is just as important.” 

“Kids deserve better. Parents deserve better. Teachers deserve better.””

— Karen McDonald

Who were the victims?

Madisyn Baldwin, 17, was a big sister and skilled artist. She had already been expected to graduate this year along with being accepted into several colleges. Even a few of the schools had already offered full scholarships, her parents told a local news station.

Hana St. Juliana, 14, was the youngest victim of the shooting. On Dec. 8, her family prepared for her funeral. Her dad said he wanted people to know, “she was one of the happiest and most joyful kids.”

Her teammates on the volleyball team posted on social media, “Thinking of our teammate, Hana, whose name means ‘flower’ in Japanese. We miss you, Hana. Think of her when you see flowers.”

She also was dedicated to basketball starting at a 6th grade camp. Her teammates posted on twitter the day after the shooting stating, “Words cannot express the heartache that is being felt within our basketball family and community right now…Pray for our strength.”

Justin Schilling, 17, was a golfer and co-captain of the Oxford High School bowling team. Justin was also a dedicated employee at Anita’s Kitchen.

“For over 40 years Anita’s Kitchen has been a family owned and operated restaurant, and today we lost one of our family members. We are deeply saddened.” said on Anita’s Kitchen Facebook.

Tate Myre, 16, was a football player and honors student. A petition on Change.org with over 270,000 signatures is calling for the Wildcat stadium to be renamed the Tate Myre stadium in his honor.

The football team posted on twitter saying that Tate, “was a tremendous football player with the brightest of futures and was an even better young man off the field as he was on it. We all loved Tate and he will so very much be missed.”

What safety procedures does Lemont High School take?

Vice Principal Brent Gagnon, who is in charge of school and student safety shared that Lemont High School follows the Illinois School Safety Drill Act. This means that students have to participate in drills for various crises before the first 90 days of school. 

These events include severe weather, bus evacuations, fire drills and law enforcement drills. Mr. Gagnon gave a presentation informing students on what to do in the case of an active shooter. The school follows and encourages, “Run, hide, fight and notify”.  

Teachers and staff have software on their phones and computers that could send the entire school into lockdown within the matter of seconds while also alerting the police. 

“We essentially give every teacher a panic button in their hands,” Gagnon said. 

Each classroom also has a “stop the bleed bucket,” which is a possible life saving tool. On some school institute days, teachers receive a more in depth training on assessing these crisis situations such as an active shooter.

Lemont High School goes through a biannual process where teachers go through a severe active shooter drill. The police department comes and they simulate an active shooting to prepare the teachers as much as possible in the situation this does happen. 

However, every year District 210 (Lemont High School) as well as SD113A (Oakwood, River Valley and Old Quarry) have safety meetings to assess their safety procedures and make adjustments if needed. 

The newest addition to school security is “Positive Attendance.” Positive Attendance is the procedure of students scanning their ID’s in the morning in order to enter the building. This is to keep track of who is in the building as well as keeping people out of the building who do not belong. 

Security guards drive around campus securing the building. They go through the parking garage to ensure that no one is hiding there or that no one is there that should not be.  The security patrols all day, but especially in the morning as a majority of school shootings take place in the morning. 

Gagnon also shared the biggest thing that students can do to keep the school safe is reporting. Gagnon urgers the importance of following the “hear something, say something” policy. 

If a student is alarmed by another student’s behavior or deems them suspicious, all they have to do is tell a teacher or any staff member, by word of mouth or email. As long as they report information, the way of communicating it is not of importance.

There is even a form on the Lemont High School’s website where students can anonymously report a student for suspicious behavior. Or even use that to anonymously have staff check up on a friend or peer. 

When suspicious behavior is reported to a staff member or teacher, the school forms a Behavior Threat Assessment Team. This can include deans, social workers, school psychologists, resource officers, counselors and even special education directors if needed. 

“There is a series of protocols that the team follows in terms of interviewing and making decisions on whether that person is a threat to themselves or a threat to others,” Gagnon said. “We decide the course of action that would happen to make sure everybody is safe.”

Gagnon first recalls not only Lemont High School, but almost all Chicagoland suburban schools putting in active school shooter drills and protocols following the tragic event of Columbine in the Spring of 1999.

Lemont High School believes to protect the school it is important for everyone to do their best to prevent bullying and aid students with their mental health. 

Currently, anonymous posts on social media have been circulating that schools with the initials, “LMS, LHS, CHS, GHS, GMS and CES” may be targeted. However, Lemont High School and the Lemont Police Department have been informed of this.

Lemont High School sent out an email of this information and stated, “Though the post references the initials ‘LHS’, there is no information that leads us to believe this threat is connected with Lemont High School.” 

School administrators urge that if anyone knows of information regarding the posts to please contact Lemont High School’s school administrators, the Student Services Team, the School Violence Tipline (800-477-0024), or the Lemont Police Department Crime Tips Hotline (630-257-6426).

What does this mean for the gun control discussion?

The gun control discussion has been brought up over the years typically after school shootings or mass shootings. Most notably many saw this happen in the news and media after the Parkland High School shooting with the #NeverAgain movement.

“If the incident yesterday with four children being murdered and multiple kids being injured is not enough to revisit our gun laws. I don’t know what is.” McDonald stated the day after the shooting.

Steve Carra, a Republican Member of the Michigan House of Representatives has said that he is already taking action. Currently he said that he is drafting a legislation that would allow teachers and staff to have lockboxes to store personal guns at educational establishments.

It is still early since the shooting happened to know if or what changes could be made on a community and/or state level.

If you or someone you know is struggling or at risk please don’t be afraid to use these sources below:

Suicide Hotline 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

National Help Line 1-800-923-HELP (4357) or 1-800-273-TALK

Crisis Text Line 741-741

Lemont High School Bullying Prevention Resources

Lemont High School Suicide Prevention Resources

Lemont High School Social Worker and Mental Health Resources

To help the victims:

How to help those affected by the shooting