Nessel's office to meet with students, parents, educators after Oxford shooting

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said her office has set up meetings with survivors, students, parents and educators following the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School, with the goal of developing best practices for school safety. 

In addition, the Department of Attorney General plans to review Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald's criminal investigation to gather more information for the assessment, Nessel told reporters Monday.

Nessel's office later clarified that it did "not expect to receive materials from the ongoing criminal investigation, at this time."

"We’re going to be reviewing some of the practices that are currently in place, some of the recommended practices from the 2018 school safety commission, and trying to learn from this experience to find out how we can better protect students all around the state," Nessel told reporters Monday. 

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she has set up meetings with Oxford High School survivors, students, parents and educators in the wake of the Nov. 30 shooting.

Nessel signaled her intent to review the case earlier this month after her offer to perform an independent investigation of the school's response was declined by the school district's lawyer

Oxford Community Schools told Nessel's office that the district is already cooperating with Oakland County's prosecutor and sheriff and was "working with a team of highly qualified experts" for its independent review. 

Four students were killed and seven other people were wounded in the shooting. Authorities have said school officials had flagged concerns about the alleged shooter, Ethan Crumbley, in the hours leading up to the shooting.

Nessel said Monday she still feels she has an obligation as the state's chief law enforcement officer to review the case as well as current school safety practices and recommended practices from a 2018 school safety commission. 

"It’s not necessarily a matter of investigating Oxford Community Schools itself as to what they did wrong," Nessel said. "Obviously, from a criminal perspective, Oakland County will make that determination. And from a civil liability perspective, I’m sure that Jeff Fieger will use all of his resources in order to asses whether or not there were any civil liability infractions.”

Nessel said her office also is working on a video to distribute to schools statewide to inform students and parents about the legal risk associated with making threats against schools — a response to dozens of threats of violence that shuttered in-person classes across the state in the weeks following the shooting. 

As of Friday, 73 people had been charged in connection with threats against schools in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties since the Nov. 30 shooting. 

More than a dozen cases are pending in Macomb County, and other threats have been made across Michigan.

"We really want to make sure that kids and their parents fully understand the repercussions of making threats," Nessel said. "We can’t live in a state where half the year schools are shut down because of threats to the safety of students and staff. We really want to make it crystal clear to these kids.”

eleblanc@detroitnews.com