Oxford elementary, middle schools to remain closed following threat

Hani Barghouthi
The Detroit News

A day after Oxford Community Schools opted to close its elementary and middle schools following a social media threat, the district announced classes would not resume this week.

The district posted a message earlier Tuesday on its website saying all schools had been cleared by law enforcement to safely resume classes Wednesday.

Hours later, they reversed course.

"Although law enforcement has cleared our K- 8, Bridges and Crossroads school buildings for our safe reopening tomorrow, many in our community have expressed concern surrounding yesterday's threat and do not feel ready to return," the district said in a statement posted late Tuesday.

"This has caused us to pause and consider the current needs and emotional well-being of our school community. Therefore, we have decided to close all district school buildings for the remainder of the week."

The decision to cancel classes Tuesday, which came nearly two weeks after a Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School left four students dead and six students and a teacher wounded, was "out of an abundance of caution," the district said Monday evening.

Students arrive for school at Oxford Middle School in Oxford on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 for the first time since a Nov. 30 shooting at the district's high school. Classes for elementary and middle school students were canceled Tuesday because of a social media threat against the middle school but are expected to resume Wednesday.

The high school is not expected to reopen until January, according to the district, but the elementary and middle schools returned for the first time since the shooting for half-days on Friday. 

Increased safety measures in the district were discussed during a school board meeting Tuesday.

Since Nov. 30, schools in the state have seen an increase in threats against schools.

Students in Oakland County launched a petition on Dec. 6 to move classes online until after Christmas break, saying "continuous circulation of threats made to schools within Oakland County...have induced fear and taken an emotional toll on all students, making in-person learning essentially useless."