OXFORD, Mich. (WLNS) – Two former board of education members at Oxford Schools are claiming the district did not follow procedures or even train staff on policies made to address school violence.
The announcement comes nearly a year after the shooting at Oxford high where four students were killed and seven other people were injured.
Former Board President Tom Donnelly and Treasurer Korey Bailey said while an investigation showed the district had a threat assessment policy, it did not investigate if it was followed.
Bailey said the district reviewed policies after the shootings.
They found school staff had access to manuals from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service. That info was geared at assessing any threats and helped update the school safety policy that was in place since 2004.
But the men claim when staff noticed that alleged shooter Ethan Crumbley was showing signs he may act violently, nothing was done.
In fact, Bailey said before the shooting the district never followed up to see if the staff was trained in those policies.
Bailey said he, Donnelly and others received pushback when they brought up their concerns.
“I want to be clear that the board is made up of good people who wanted to do the right but were convinced by voices outside of the district that they needed to wait. And coming forward would bankrupt the district and potentially tear this community apart. It became clear that tom and I were alone on this island,” said Bailey.
In a statement sent to 6 News, attorneys representing Oxford schools agree with Donnelly that there were safety policies in place for decades. They said multiple staff got training but that the allegations are “misunderstandings of facts.”
We are aware of the allegations made by former Oxford Community School Board members during today’s press conference. Mr. Donnelly is correct in acknowledging that the District had appropriate safety policies in place since 2004. He also confirmed that multiple staff members received threat assessment training before the November 30 tragedy. Many of the former Board members’ allegations show a misunderstanding of the facts. The details regarding the training and use of threat assessment procedures in advance of the November 30 tragedy will be discussed at length by members of the staff who implemented the policies prior to November 30, 2021. As in previous depositions, the District will fully disclose all relevant facts and procedures in the forthcoming legal proceedings.Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C., law firm representing Oxford schools
Dan D’alessandro, the current board president asked for patience.
In a statement he said, the third-party review will “Help us all understand the facts and have the transparency and accountability we all deserve.”
Attorney Ven Johnson, who is representing several Oxford victim families said Monday’s news shows a lack of accountability.
“Untreated illness let alone mental illness gets worse, you have an obligation to that very kid and every kid and adult in that school,” he said.
Johnson said the next steps for his team will be confirming the allegations of training shortcomings in court. Donnelly said he’s prepared to defend his claims in front of lawmakers.