In Oxford School Shooting, Safety Policies Were Overlooked, Say Ex-Board Members
“The state requires fire drills several times per year, but they are silent on requiring the same emphasis on school threat assessment,” Mr. Bailey said. “I believe that Oxford has a moral and ethical obligation to not only learn from their failures, but to use this tragedy as a loud voice to other districts.”
Mr. Donnelly also said that a completed assessment from a third-party investigator was overdue. “To this day, we have not independently reviewed the events from the start of the school year to the 30th of November 2021,” he said. Guidepost Solutions, a security consulting firm hired by the district to do the assessment, said that an initial report was expected early next year.
Dan D’Alessandro, the president of the district’s board of education, said in an emailed statement that “the review will help us all understand the facts and have the transparency and accountability we all deserve.”
The district regularly held drills to teach students how to stay safe during a shooting, using a practice known as ALICE: “alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.” After the shooting, the local authorities said that students, staff members and police officers had acted exactly as they had been trained to. But criticism of such drills has grown in recent years, with parents and some researchers questioning whether they can be counterproductive or hurt children’s mental health.
Last month, Ethan Crumbley, 16, who was a student at the school, admitted to killing Tate Myre, 16; Justin Shilling, 17; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Hana St. Juliana, 14, as well as injuring seven other people, including six students and a teacher, in the shooting. He pleaded guilty to 24 counts, including murder, attempted murder, terrorism and weapons violations.