Oakland County students push for law changes, better mental health support after Oxford High School shooting

In the wake of the Oxford High School shooting and amid a wave of school threats, some Oakland County students don’t feel safe going to class.

“You still feel a little bit insecure at school because we still mentally wonder that today is going to be the day when none of these threats are a false threat,” said Natalie Tsimoni, a high school student.

Since the November 30 school shooting that killed four Oxford High School students, districts across metro Detroit have been dealing with the threats.

Read more coverage of Oxford HS photography here.

Tsimhoni is part of a student-led group, Sunrise Oakland County, which has filed a petition urging schools to switch to default until school threats are addressed.

Some students are struggling to deal with the trauma of a shooting that shattered dreams of returning to normal life at school after the COVID-19 pandemic knocked out a year of virtual learning.

High school student Anjali Rana said, “A lot of the students were not in the right mindset. They were still struggling with their mental health at the time. We felt we should have had more support from our schools at the time.”

Jimin Lee, a high school student, said she hopes the push from Sunrise will lead to more mental health awareness.

“Having counselors or other mental health professionals to connect with us frequently and review how we feel about these situations would certainly be beneficial for us to go back to school and feel that we have a safe learning environment,” she said.

Currently, Michigan ranks 49th out of 50 states when it comes to school counselors.

read: Michigan ranks 49th for student to advisor ratio

“I think I’m starting to feel a little safer,” Heather said, “but that’s largely because my school district brought in the chief of police during the board of education meeting. He gave a long presentation about what they were doing.” Chen, high school student. “The big thing that came out of this was the awareness of this topic.”

Students at Sunrise also hope they can use the momentum from their efforts to push legislatures to improve school safety measures and gun laws.

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