Experts talk school safety measures in the wake of Oxford shooting
SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - Since the shooting at Oxford High School, many measures have been put into place in an effort to prevent another tragedy like this from ever happening again.
One of which is gaining popularity: the OK2SAY Program, which allows students and parents to submit what they believe are threats toward their school to the state. Since the shooting, the program has seen a dramatic jump in reported threats.
There were 498 tips submitted last Nov. and that number significantly increased to more than 35,000 in Dec.
According to the program’s website, just in the past 11 months schools have seen almost 500 reported threats and almost 800 threats of suicide. Reported tips for guns are now over 100 for the year and bomb threat reports against schools stand at 34 since the start of the year.
Schools have also started taking matters into their own hands, with some implementing new security measures like metal detectors right outside school doors.
TV5 spoke to experts about why the safety measures are coming now, rather than before the shooting.
“We really have learned very little in my opinion. We learned some, but we really learned very little,” former Genesee County Prosecutor Arthur Busch said.
He reflected on gun safety tactics instilled throughout the state over the years. Busch was the prosecutor who charged Jamelle James, the uncle of the then 6-year-old boy who shot and killed by his 6-year-old classmate at Buell Elementary School in the Beecher School District, with James’ gun.
The case was the spark to a national gun debate - one yet to be resolved.
Busch wondered, “Why is it been so long to have checks on people for their criminal history? Why is it we don’t have a system where we can find people who have had mental health problems; either been committed before, they’re not supposed to have guns.”
Tom Mynsberge, who is a safety expert, mentioned the 1999 Columbine High School mass shooting in Colorado. He said America should have woken up then.
“Everybody’s starting to get their plans in place and put things in place, but if we didn’t learn our lesson 25 years ago that we need to be more proactive; we really need to reevaluate where we stand with how we look at the defense of our schools,” he said.
Mynsberge said today, more schools than ever have been reaching out to different safety training programs like theirs, especially in Michigan in wake of the Oxford High School shooting.
“The bottom goal is the better we’re prepared the more kids we send home at the end of the day and the more staff we send home,” Mynsberge said.
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said they have also been doing more active shooter training this past year.
“We just did an active shooter training yesterday at Whaley,” Swanson remarked. He said that last year’s incident has made everyone more aware and prepared.
He said, “It has to be on everybody’s forefront, but Oxford shall never be forgotten,”
Swanson also said that they are set to do more training in Jan.
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