Oxford school district plans memorials to shooting victims
The Oxford school district is moving forward with plans to remember four high school students who died in a mass shooting Nov. 30 and "help with the grieving process" of students and staff.
In a message Friday on the district's website, Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Ken Weaver said a banner in the gym and a sign in the senior courtyard will serve as remembrances of Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; and Justin Shilling, 17.
"All of us should honor the lives of these four students through our actions to serve our community going forward," Weaver wrote. "This way the impact that these children had on our school community will carry on for others to follow."
The sign in the senior courtyard will contain a short remembrance from each of the student's families. A "simple but striking" banner in the gym donated by Jostens will contain hearts and the students' names.
Weaver said the plans were made based on information from other schools that have faced a similar tragedy and mental health experts who specialize in trauma recovery.
The School Board is also forming a committee to plan a permanent memorial to the students.
"This committee will decide the process for gathering student, staff, and community input on the design, layout and location of the memorial(s). It will also begin fundraising efforts to support the construction of the memorials," Weaver wrote.
Other efforts to remember the students include:
• Designating Nov. 30 as Wildcat Remembrance Day. School will be closed for a district-wide day of service to honor the students.
• Planting four cherry blossom trees at the high school with plaques dedicating a tree to each student.
• Continuing to conduct spirit days to honor the students.
• Wearing memorial patches donated by Jostens with an “O” and four hearts.
Oxford High School sophomore Ethan Crumbley is charged with killing four students and wounding six others and a teacher. His attorneys have indicated they plan an insanity defense on his behalf.
His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. They are accused of buying a handgun for 15-year-old Ethan as a Christmas gift and failing to properly store the weapon or advise school officials their son had access to it.