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Outside Firm Calls Michigan's Oxford High Shooting Avoidable

A third-party firm concluded that the 2021 Oxford High School shooting in Oakland County, Mich., when four students were killed, was avoidable, the Detroit Free Press reports. The shooting would have been avoided if the school district had followed its threat assessment policy. The report notes that "individuals at every level" in Oxford Community Schools failed to provide a safe and secure environment for students. It emphasizes that the shooter should have been sent home after counselors called his parents in for a meeting over behavioral concerns. Guidepost Solutions was hired by Oxford Community Schools' board in 2022 after an outcry from the community around school safety and lingering concerns over what district officials knew about disturbing behavior exhibited by the shooter.

Several school board members since that outcry have resigned and have questioned the district's transparency about the shooting. The report calls out the school district's administration for failures involving the threat assessment process. There were significant shortfalls in executing threat policies, the review found. The report also states that the shooter should have been assessed under suicide intervention protocol. The report found no one was monitoring the more than 90 security cameras around the school and its grounds so staffers were not able to "broadcast ongoing messaging regarding the Shooter’s location and movements" to students and staff in the school. While some school district employees declined interviews, family members of all four victims did sit down with investigators, as well as students who survived. Families consistently told investigators that they were disappointed by the transparency and support they received from the district.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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