The school board in Oxford is delaying an investigation into the state’s deadliest school shooting. The district’s Board of Education declined a review by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office during a meeting this week.
Members of the board say they will wait until criminal and civil litigation from the incident comes to an end before conducting a review. The November high school shooting left four students dead and seven others injured.
The four students who were killed were 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Justin Schilling and 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana.
Tate Myre’s father, Buck Myre, says he considers the board’s decision to be an admission of guilt.
“They know that things didn’t go right that day. And they don’t want to stand up and fix it,” Myre says.
The school district is facing multiple lawsuits brought by survivors of the attack and parents of its victims, including Myre. Criminal trials against the alleged shooter and his parents are ongoing. The shooter was charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism causing death. His parents are facing charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Meghan Gregory is suing the alleged shooter, his parents and staff at Oxford High after her son survived the shooting. She says there’s a lack of accountability on the board.
“They sit and they talk about, ‘We don’t want to retraumatize these children. We can’t retraumatize these children,’” Gregory says. “But you want to wait three years or whenever everything’s over, bring it all back up. In my mind, that’s going to retraumatize them.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel offered to conduct an independent review of the shooting. In response to the board declining her offer, Nessel said in a statement the move “flies in the face of transparency.”
“The rejection sends a message that the board is more focused on limiting liability than responding to the loud outcry from the Oxford community to deliver greater peace of mind to the students, parents and educators that lived through this traumatic event,” Nessel said.
Gregory says a third-party review would help alleviate her fears.
“We need to know that our other four kids are going to be safe going into that school.”
Myre says the district has not made any positive changes since the shooting.
“What are they doing? They’re doing nothing.”