The following statement can be attributed to Jim Gibbons, local president of the Oxford Education Association:
“As some schools in our community reopen today, I want to express our sincere thanks for the massive outreach of support for Oxford’s students, parents, educators, administrators and the community at large. We are changed forever by the events of the past 11 days, but to know that so many are standing with us provides more comfort than I can possibly say.
“Even doing this statement is hard for me as an Oxford High School educator, the husband of another OHS teacher, and the parent of OHS students. My colleagues and I ask for and appreciate the media’s patience as we work through our grief and trauma. There are many stories that need to be told about what happened on Nov. 30 to save lives, but the pain is immense. We will do the best we can to tell those stories over time.
“For today, I want to thank the first responders who rushed to our aid last week and the law enforcement officials who have worked through the aftermath, including those who are working to learn exactly what happened. All of us want answers – but no answers will take away this pain, which is why I’m so appreciative of recent comments that the outcome of these investigations needs to focus on ensuring we know what happened so we can learn from this tragedy.
“One of the things we are learning is that the active shooter training and quick action of teachers, support staff and administrators in Oxford High School saved lives last week. When my colleagues are ready, we will tell those stories, both so our community can heal and so that others can learn how best to deal with the unthinkable if it happens to them.
“In closing, I’ve spoken with my counterparts in Parkland, Newtown and other schools that have fallen victim to senseless acts of violence. My colleagues and I are now part of an unwanted fellowship of educators. But together, with our friends, family, and colleagues here across Michigan, we will move ahead and ensure our students have a safe space to succeed and thrive in the years ahead.”