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2 Oxford school board members resign after state board of education calls for independent review

2 Oxford School board members resign after state board of education calls for independent review
2 Oxford School board members resign after state board of education calls for independent review 02:27

OXFORD, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A letter announcing the resignations of Heather Shafer and Mary Hanser of the Oxford Community Schools board went out Wednesday.

It's what several people in the community had wanted for months, upset over the way they handled the November 2021 mass shooting at Oxford High School that killed four students and injured six others and a teacher.

This development comes a day after the Michigan Board of Education called on state lawmakers to fund and conduct an independent review of the shooting, following requests from the victims' parents. 

CBS Detroit

"There's no kicking it around anymore. I mean, it's something that should have been done from day one," said Craig Shilling, who lost his son Justin Shilling in the shooting. 

Craig Shilling and the parents of Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre and Hana St. Juliana spoke to state board members last month.

"It doesn't matter what side of the line you are on. This is a nonpartisan issue, and it's essential to ensure the safety of our schools and do an investigation is the bare minimum to be able to discover the actual root causes of the problem," Craig Shilling said. 

The state Board of Education is also asking lawmakers for ongoing funding for children's mental health and school safety, including threat assessments and training for schools.

"Imagine your child dies at school, and your school district doesn't have a detailed conversation with you about what happened. In fact, they don't even have to, which is what happened here in Oxford," said Renee Upham, whose son survived the mass shooting.

Only one board member voted against the resolution, Tom McMillin, who believes a special committee with subpoena power is necessary.

"It's very frustrating; we could actually do something that would really get to the truth of what happened in Oxford. And, and really also make force change, systemic change, that would help prevent anything like this from happening again; the proposals that I suggested would do that," McMillin said. 

Another member, Nikki Snyder, urges lawmakers to take these steps: 

"We need to see government immunity overhauled. We need to see an environment where school officials feel comfortable coming forward if they have information and putting it on the table so that we can improve school safety and make sure that other students in the state of Michigan are protected," Snyder said. 

"But I think it'll take baby steps and that, and we're okay; we're in this for the long haul. And we're okay with these baby steps," Upham said.

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