Ripples from the tragic Oxford High School shooting impacted people of all ages across Michigan, as schools heard of more threats and either closed or went into lockdown. Some of our kid, teen, and adult diarists shared their experiences and responses about this event that can be found together in our collection of stories regarding the Oxford tragedy. . Click here to listen
So when the lockdown first started, I was in my marketing class and we were going over a paper that we were going to have to start doing for a project, and someone came over the speaker system and said that a lockdown is going into place and that it wasn't a drill and you could hear that the person that was saying it, her voice was very shaky. And like at first when they said a lockdown drill, I thought like -- We were going into lockdown, not a lockdown drill, but when they said lockdown, I thought like, "Oh, it's a drill." It's a like drill that we're just going to do like blah blah blah. And then they said -- I saw my teacher's face drop. Even though she's trying to mask it, I could still see it. And then she said "This is not a drill." And my teacher ran to the door and shut it. And was saying, "Everyone into the back room right now." Cause my marketing teacher has a back room, because she has a store, and that's where she keeps all of her, like, a bunch of her extra stuff. I don't know. So a class of like thirty two kids were in this like, I don't even know, like, 10 by 14 square feet room. It was very small plus it had like a bunch of chairs and had some desks and storage stuff and shelves in it, and we were locked in there for like two or three hours. We had to be quiet and the lights had to be off and people's phones were dying because they couldn't do anything, because you couldn't go grab your charger out of your backpack and none of us knew what was happening. Like we were being asked questions from our teacher, she was like, "Has any of you guys seen this person?" and then wouldn't give us any more information because she didn't know any more information or she'd just be telling other people to be quiet and I wanna to be totally honest with you, whoever's listening to this. When I first got in there, I started having a panic attack. I was in the very back of that little room and I have no friends in that class. I was standing near a bunch of people that I don't think…
I'm just grateful just that our school stands with Oxford. It's just awful what happened at Oxford and it should never happen. People shouldn't bring a gun to school and it's just awful and I'm grateful that we were able to stand with them. We did this thing called Stand With Oxford and we dressed up in navy blue and gold and we took a lot of pictures today and we just showed Oxford that our school is supporting them and that we hope things get better for them, even though for a lot of people it won't because tragedy struck and it was awful.
I remember there was this headline that said, "What more can this generation take?" And I really -- that really resonated with me, especially when the Canton schools shut down because one of their threats was valid and then they had to be online all of last week. I guess, I'm not exactly sure what the shooter was going through that that made him think that doing the school shooting and starting this violence was was something he should do, but -- It was after that Thursday, we didn't have school on Friday either and ultimately on Thursday, when we didn't have school, I had my phone with me and so all my group chats were bursting with the same information about the shooting, the kid who did the shooting. I believe, the parents had run away as well, and so, getting a lot of information about that. And so on Friday night, my parents tried to give me a little bit of space, but then we had a conversation and we decided that it was best if I put my phone away and so they kept it for a while. I think that helped my mental health a lot, but ultimately it was and it still is hard to process. I think a week after the shooting, I believe it was last Sunday. We had a sports seminar and some students from Oxford were there and we stood up and gave them a standing ovation. And I think what made me realize that, yes, I'm having a hard time, but one of the girls on the team when we gave them a standing ovation for showing up and being so brave, she broke down and I think everyone in the room at the moment really, really felt her tears. Because I think more than the Michigan community, felt the loss of the students at Oxford and really felt the effects of the problem and my main hope is that this experience, this terrible experience is something we can learn from and we can move forward and try to prevent this from happening. You know, whether that's having a school resource officer at every building. I guess, personally, I know that I would be scared if I walked into a school with metal detectors, just because that would mean that it would show how serious the problem is, but I…
Not to be predictable about the news headline this week, as I imagine many Michigan readers will mention, but I'd say the school shooting in Oxford is probably the headline that has stuck out to me the most this week in the state. And, I don't know. I don't think I'm ready to have a debate here about the situation, but, you know, I think there's a reason why these events seem to bring about such strong opinions because I think we can all agree that school shootings are the worst and. I don't know. I just feel for the school.
I think Oxford High School is like not too far from my school, like kids from my school know people who go to Oxford. One of them even said that he used to play baseball with the school shooter himself. So I guess since it's so close it made everything feel a bit more real. Usually we hear about school shootings in other parts of the country, but then suddenly, it's in Michigan, not even an hour drive away from our current location. It's like making go to school -- like kids fear going to school for weird reasons, or I guess, valid reasons, like taking a test, having weird or messy friendships, I don't know, with other students. Maybe getting bad grades. Yeah, that's scary and all, but now it's getting to a point where we have to fear for our lives when going to school and that's not very good at all.
When I think about -- I think about school shootings and I think about suicides of kids like at this age and I... I think sometimes about not just my own experience in junior high and high school, but the experience that I observed other kids having. And I've often reflected on how, I think if you're on the -- If you're not on the right side of, you know, or not the right part of the social pecking order, there's just a real profound sense of powerlessness. I mean, if you care. Some kids manage to not care, I mean, and that's fabulous. But I think if it bothers you like, it's really hard. It's hard to change the situation, right? I mean, you can't, you can't escape it, right? You can't not go to school. You can't... I think it's just really hard to change your your place. It's hard to push back if people are, you know, making you feel crappy. And I think there's this -- you just never see justice being done.