Students will not return to Oxford High School on January 3. Officials said they had hoped to have the building ready by then following the attack on November 30, but now say the original return date is not feasible given the ongoing investigation and remediation.
Officials detailed the plan at last night’s school board meeting, the first since the attack that killed four and injured seven.
Oxford Schools officials say they are increasing security measures while trying to help students who were traumatized by the shooting.
When students return to the high school sometime in January, backpacks will be temporarily banned, locker use will be limited and there will be a strong police presence. Eventually, the school plans to allow clear bags. The school will also use software to monitor the student’s social media and emails.
Speaking before Tuesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Tim Throne says they’ll be hiring an outside firm to review security.
“It is my recommendation to our school board that we look at a third-party independent review,” said Throne. “This too has been done in many of the districts where similar events have occurred.”
In addition to increased security measures, Oxford Assistant Superintendent Jill Lemond says the school has several counselors available for students and is pursuing more.
“We’re going to be looking at all of the resources available to us we’ve already been working with Easter Seals and some other different organizations who have been offering us some additional support,” said Lemond
The school district currently faces two $100 million civil lawsuits brought on behalf of two Oxford High School students, including one who was shot in the neck in the attack.
Oxford School Board President Tom Donnelly says everyone affiliated with the school is cooperating with the criminal investigation. Criminal charges have not been filed against anyone affiliated with the schools.