Oxford school district gets $700,000 from feds in response to shooting

Christian Peck-Dimit
The Detroit News

The U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $700,000 in emergency funds Friday to the Oxford Area Community School District in response to the mass shooting in November at Oxford High School.

The $707,600 was disbursed as part of the federal department's School Emergency Response to Violence project. Funding for the project is authorized through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, with more than $3.7 million being awarded this year.

The money will go toward improving school safety in the district as well as ensuring the well-being of students, staff and families at the high school. 

“Helping school communities recover from gun violence takes time, compassion, and resources,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “This Project SERV grant will help Oxford High School improve mental health supports for students and educators directly impacted by the trauma and tragedy of last year’s mass shooting.”

Oxford school Superintendent Ken Weaver did not respond immediately Friday to a phone message seeking comment.

The shooting on Nov. 30, 2021, killed four students and injured six others, plus a teacher. Ethan Crumbley, 16, who was a student at the school, is charged with 24 felonies in connection with the shooting and faces up to life in prison if convicted.

OACSD’s $700,000 makes it the third-largest amount received by one school district this year, and the fifth largest given out by SERV in the last three years.

The money awarded by SERV must be used “for activities that help restore a sense of safety and security for a district’s students, teachers, staff, and families, and that address specific needs of those individuals directly affected by tragic events,” according to a DOE press release.

“Such activities include mental health services for staff and students, and overtime pay for teachers, counselors, and security staff, and may take place over the summer in the form of additional summer programming,” the press release said.