Clear Backpacks Required for Oxford Middle Schoolers, High Schoolers

Other safety measures have been put in place, including therapy dogs and security personnel in each Oxford Community Schools building.

Clear Backpacks Required for Oxford Middle Schoolers, High Schoolers

(Photo: Luis, Adobe Stock)

OXFORD, Mich. — Additional security measures have been implemented at Oxford Community Schools as students return to the classroom just over a month after the deadly Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School that left four dead and seven others injured.

On Monday, middle school students were given clear backpacks to use for the foreseeable future, according to a statement from Superintendent Tim Thorne. Elementary students are not required to use clear backpacks but must keep their belongings in cubbies and are not allowed to carry their backpacks throughout the day.

The district hasn’t announced when the high school is reopening but said clear backpacks will be issued and required.

“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,” Thorne wrote in the statement.

Other safety precautions put into place at Oxford schools include:

  • Law enforcement in each building
  • Personnel from a security firm hired by the district in each building
  • Counselors and professionally trained trauma specialists in each building
  • A team of trained therapy dogs in each building
  • Gaggle software to help manage student online safety on school-provided accounts
  • Additional staff in each building to help teachers as needed

District employees have also undergone trauma-response training.

“They are using the best practices and data from trauma specialists and crisis response experts who have helped in our planning and training,” said Thorne. “We recognize that students will have varying knowledge and understanding about what occurred. We have trained professionals working closely with us to help us navigate this.”

Oxford Community Schools spokesperson Danielle Stublensky said the district had a “safe and successful” return to learning Monday with nearly 90% attendance among DK-8 students.

“We had 88% of students in attendance today, who were greeted by our welcoming staff and teachers, as well as friendly therapy dogs,” she said.

Following the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, students were required to use clear backpacks and wear newly-issued student badges at all times.

About the Author

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy’s mother, brother, sister-in-law, and a handful of cousins are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband, her 2 children and her dog.

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