OXFORD TOWNSHIP, MI – The long-awaited and embattled third-party investigation into the Oxford High School shooting was released late Monday, October 30.
The 572-page report found that the school and some of its employees did not do enough to prevent the shooting.
The Guidepost Solutions report outlines how the school district missed signals, opportunities and basic common sense in what it could have done to prevent the November 2021 shooting that killed four students and injured six others and a teacher.
Read: 572-page report says Oxford shooting could have been prevented with proper training and guidance
“Our investigation revealed that if proper threat assessment guidelines had been put in place and the county’s threat assessment policy followed, this tragedy could have been avoided.”
The report lays out five specific ways that then-Superintendent Tim Throne and his leadership botched the process by not having reasonable, follow-up or even adequately shared processes in place, including:
Failure to properly communicate the District’s threat assessment policy or even to ensure that it was followed as standard operating procedure.
Failure to share or inadequately train staff on a threat assessment plan.
“Our protocol is that if we get information from any school staff, any teacher, any student, any mom or dad, that someone is going to potentially self-harm or commit violence against someone else, we have to attend at that meeting and get involved so we can make an immediate assessment of what we need to do,” said Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard. “We weren’t at any of those meetings.”
The report argues that if the district had a low threshold that was fully and properly established and taught at the high school, the shooter would not have been allowed to return to class when an alarm was raised about his writing, drawings and behavior that day. No matter how loudly his parents protested and insisted that he be returned to class, he would not be allowed back.
Meghan’s son Gregory survived but witnessed the shooting. He still suffers from PTSD. Gregory rushed into the document and said there were revelations.
“It’s mind-blowing,” Gregory said. “I’ve always thought that once it happened, everyone did everything right during it, and reading the report, seeing the missed opportunities to save Justin and Keegan, it hurts. For me, it was miss after miss after miss.”
The report also shows the advocacy of so many officials and witnesses that it was difficult to obtain first-person interviews that could erase what could be considered hubris at its worst for self-evaluation and reflection that can to benefit any school district.
The report said that of 161 people who had direct contact with the shooter, knew of his erratic behavior, witnessed the events leading up to the shooting, or witnessed the shooting itself, only 35 percent spoke with independent investigators .
“It doesn’t help your neighbors, it doesn’t help your family or anything like that. It just skips over the issue,” said Craig Schilling, whose son Justin died in the shooting. “If we’re going to keep jumping over the issue, then we’re never going to solve it. This is something we want to do. We want to look into it. We have to look into it. You can’t look the other way.
“The Oakland County District Attorney’s Office has already made it clear that none of these people will be criminally charged, so don’t tell me they have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination because the DA has already publicly said there will be no charges “said attorney Ven Johnson.
You can read a response from the school district below:
“Last night, Guidepost Solutions released its final report on the school system at the same time as the public. We are beginning the process of carefully examining this report and will share our response once it has been thoroughly reviewed.
As we review the document, the following criteria will guide our response:
This tragedy has affected all of our lives, creating devastation and heartache. While we are forever changed by what happened, our community has also embodied extraordinary compassion and ongoing acts of care. These things will ultimately define what it means to be a part of Oxford.”
Daniel Stublensky, Oxford Public Schools
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