Memorial at Oxford High School will be removed, officials say

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

A memorial created for the victims of the Oxford High School shooting outside the school will be taken down on Sunday, one day before the first day of classes at the school since the Nov. 30 shooting.

On Wednesday, Oxford Superintendent Tim Throne announced that trauma specialists advised the district that the memorial should not remain when students return "to further their healing process."

The memorial honoring victims at the front entrance of Oxford High School on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. School officials said the memorial will be removed on Sunday, one day before classes resume at the school for the first time since the Nov. 30 mass shooting that killed four students and wounded seven others, including a teacher.

"The temporary memorial that has been created by our community played a beautiful role in honoring and remembering our lost Wildcats and provided a place for our community to grieve," Throne wrote.

"As our high school welcomes students back to the building on Monday, trauma specialist Dr. (James) Henry, along with those from other schools that have gone through similar situations, have advised us that the temporary memorial should not be there when our students return."

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The memorial was created to honor OHS students Hana St. Juliana, 14, Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17, who were killed in the attack as well as the six students and a teacher who were wounded.

Ethan Crumbley, 15, who was a sophomore at the school, faces 24 charges in the shooting. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, face four counts each of involuntary manslaughter.

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Families will have an opportunity to choose items they wish to take home with them, Throne said, before the memorial is removed on Sunday.

"All other items and signs will be collected and stored until long-term memorial plans are made. We have had the temporary memorial professionally 3-D scanned," Throne said. 

The memorial honoring victims at the front entrance of Oxford High School on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. School officials said the memorial will be removed on Sunday, one day before classes resume at the school for the first time since the Nov. 30 mass shooting that killed four students and wounded seven others, including a teacher.

The district has plans for a permanent memorial.

"This will be a long and well thought out process. It will first begin with consulting the families of the victims and discussing their wishes. Then, a committee of students, staff, and parents will be created to begin this planning," Throne wrote.

jchambers@detroitnews.com