Oxford HS grieves over students lost


Scott Olsen

People spread flowers and like items around the entrance of Oxford High School in order to honor the victims of the school shooting.

Emily Pham, Social Justice Writer

Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St Juliana and Justin Shilling. These are the names of the four students killed in a tragic shooting at Oxford High School in Oakland County, Michigan on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Chaos broke out just before 1 p.m. when local authorities received a troubling call. Ethan Crumbley, a sophomore at Oxford High, had opened fire in the school. Police said he fired at least 30 rounds, shooting 11 people, before turning himself in within minutes.

“I was mostly in denial, I saw a kid run down the hallway screaming that there was a shooter, however with all the prior threats and the insane year that we had already had, I mostly thought it was a joke or a false threat,” Hannah Chiu, a junior at Oxford High School, said. Hannah was safe in lockdown with her classmates during the time of the shooting. 

The tragic deaths of the four beloved students have brought insurmountable grief to the Oxford community. “The weight of this loss will resonate with the community for a long time,” William Maxlow, a junior at Oxford, said.

An online petition calling for the school’s football stadium to be renamed after Myre has gained over 272,900 signatures as of Wednesday, Dec. 15, almost reaching the goal of 300,000. 

Family members of both Baldwin and Shilling created GoFundMe accounts to raise money for medical costs. Combined, the fundraisers have already raised over $226,600 and counting.

The Oxford High School Women’s Basketball team honored St Juliana in a touching tribute: “Last night was your high school debut. This season we play for you, Hana.”

The pain of the loss has also reached students across the country. “I was devastated … It instilled fear in me that I thought I forgot about,” Richard Montgomery senior Chad Boyd said.

Incidents similar to the Oxford shooting continually spark debate about gun control and its controversy in the United States, especially on school grounds. According to Education Week, the Oxford shooting was the deadliest of the 31 total school shootings that have occurred this year so far.

“Your learning environment shouldn’t be a place of terrorism,” Chiu said.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, 15-year-old Crumbley was charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death and four counts of first-degree murder. According to an article from the New York Times, “Prosecutors took the rare step of filing involuntary manslaughter charges against his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, saying that they had bought the semiautomatic handgun that he used to carry out the deadly rampage as a Christmas gift.” 

The first lawsuit was filed on Thursday, Dec. 9 by Jeffrey and Brandi Franz, the parents of two sisters who also survived the shooting. Senior Riley Franz was shot in the neck in front of her sister Bella, a freshman. The family seeks $100 million, their lawsuit claiming that the school district and its officials did not do enough in order to protect its students. 

Moving forward, the Oxford community, as well as students across the nation, are hoping for real change. “I don’t think the government is doing nearly enough to combat this issue,” Maxlow said.

On Wednesday, Dec. 15, Michigan Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin introduced a new piece of preventative legislation. Called the “Safe Guns, Safe Kids Act”, the bill requires gun owners to safely store their firearms away from their children. If the child uses the gun, the parent can be held accountable with up to 5 years of jail time. 

In a video with BBC News, Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard addressed the aftermath of the shooting.  Bouchard said, “This wound will never go away.” The fear of school violence continues to linger in many students’ hearts.