Some students in the Michigan school district where the deadly Oxford High School shooting took place will be required to carry clear backpacks starting Monday.
“We are doing clear backpacks for middle schools … and high school students when they return,” Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne said in a video message to parents.
The backpacks will be provided to students upon their return, according to the superintendent’s statement. Elementary school students won’t be required to use clear backpacks but their backpacks must be kept in their lockers or cubbies all day.
The school district has introduced a number of new security measures in the wake of the Nov. 30 shooting in the Detroit suburb that killed four students.
Student Ethan Crumbley, 15, was charged as an adult in the shooting with murder and terrorism charges. He pleaded not guilty. His parents Jennifer and James Crumbley were also charged Dec. 3 with involuntary manslaughter after authorities said they failed to intervene despite their child’s alleged expressions of violence. The were taken into custody Dec. 4 in Detroit and have pleaded not guilty.
Throne stressed “safety, both physical and emotional, are at the top of our list” in reopening.
Monday is the first day of school for elementary and middle school students. However, no date was given for the reopening of Oxford High School itself. In a post on the district’s website, Throne wrote, “We continue to make progress in the reconstruction of Oxford High School and we are working through the enormous number of logistics involved in our safe and soft reopening plan.”
The district also has therapy dogs, counselors, trauma specialists and private security in all buildings. District staffers have undergone trauma-response training to “be as prepared as possible to help out students.”
Since the shooting, at least two lawsuits have been filed seeking $100 million each against the district, its superintendent, principal and others.