Oxford High student walkout honors victims in Texas shooting
Oxford — Several hundred Oxford High School students walked out of class Thursday, gathering on the school's football field after leaving the building to honor students and teachers killed in Texas on Tuesday.
Footage posted on social media from other outlets shows the students standing in a "U" shape after filing from the school onto the field. The walkout lasted for about half an hour.
The walkout comes two days after a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school where 21 people, including 19 children, were killed.
Andrew Sholtz, a 16-year-old Oxford High sophomore, finished 4th hour and walked with others to a courtyard memorial for one of the Nov. 30 mass shooting victims at Oxford High, Tate Myre.
“It meant a lot to me because of the shooting that happened. We went through the same thing. I lost a lot of friends. I thought it would be respectful to help other people through it,” Sholtz said.
Sholtz said he hopes the walkout brings attention to the way people treat each other.
“I want more parents and kids our age to pay attention to people more and try not to pick on people because it can lead them to do stupid things,” he said.
Parent Lori Bourgeau said she knew the kids were planning the walkout. She heard helicopters “so I turned on the news wondering if they picked it up and I can’t stop crying. I’m so proud of these kids. They won’t let their voices be stifled, they are screaming, hear us roar, we will not accept inaction any longer.
“Our kids are tired of being failed by adults, failed by their school board, failed by their state politicians and failed by their nation’s politicians. They are calling for change just like the survivors of the many tragedies that predated the one here in November. It’s time to place all students and teachers' safety and security as this nation’s top priority.”
On Tuesday, the Oxford Community Schools officials held a moment of silence for the victims of the Texas shooting during a Board of Education meeting that was cut short because of the incident.
"Oxford Community Schools was made aware the national organization Students Demand Action planned a student walk out across the country today in response to the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas," said Oxford Community Schools spokeswoman Dani Stublensky. "As a community, our hearts are with Uvalde and we understand why some of our students chose to participate in the national walk out. Oxford Community Schools worked with our students, staff, and local law enforcement, as well as our district security personnel, to ensure the safety of our students participating in this peaceful event."
Stublensky said the district's Traumatic Event Crisis Intervention Plan team had additional trauma specialists from EasterSeals and the Oakland Community Health Network available for students and staff. The district's crisis hotlines remain open at 800-231-1127 or 844-446-4225 for support and help.
Former student Ethan Crumbley, 15, is accused of killing four students — Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Justin Shilling, 17; and Myre, 16, — and wounding six others and a teacher in a mass shooting last fall.
He is charged with four counts of first-degree premeditated murder and 20 other felonies. His trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 6.
His parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, each are charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Earlier this week, attorneys for Jennifer and James Crumbley said they're seeking a change of venue, or to have jurors brought in from outside Oakland County, claiming the couple won't get a fair trial. The Crumbleys’ trial is set for Oct. 24.
On Monday, the family of Justin Shilling filed a lawsuit against Oxford Community Schools alleging the district violated its own policies and state law in handling concerns about Crumbley.