Fox 2 – Crisis counselors and trauma therapists were made available to “anyone in our community” Thursday morning, according to a letter from the principal of Oxford High School.
Oxford Virtual Academy will host sessions from 9am to 11am amid a series of mental help and support options that have been announced. The district also released plans for students who left personal belongings behind during the evacuation of the building in which 4 students were killed and seven others injured as well as a teacher on November 30.
Items will be collected from Monday 13 December until 15 December in the main entrance car park at Oxford North High School.
“For expediency, students and parents are asked to stay in your cars, and staff will bring some things with you. We will also have police, as well as specialized crisis response counselors and therapists. You will receive a follow-up later this week with additional details and information,” he wrote. School Principal Steve Wolf.
The email to Wolf said that virtual counseling is available through EMPOWERU, the region’s online mental health partner, and is offering 20-minute virtual appointments available to staff and students in grades 6 through 12 this week. A 24/7 helpline/text/chat with professionally trained volunteers is available on the Common Ground Helpline at 1-800-231-1127.
In an email to the district, Superintendent Tim Thrun spoke of the limited public statements he’s made since the tragedy, saying that does not respect the ongoing police investigation.
“We couldn’t say more because this is an ongoing investigation,” he wrote. “We do not have all the facts and cannot interfere in the investigation of the claim. We know that this has caused frustration and anger but we are doing our best under difficult circumstances,” he added.
“After all the facts are obtained and released during the course of the trial, my recommendation to our school board is that we begin reviewing our entire system as other communities have done when faced with similar experiences.”
For the full message from the throne, see below.
“Dear Wildcat Nation, Since last Tuesday, everyone in our community has shared the grieving process, including principals, school staff, school board members and myself.
“Since that terrible day, we have been primarily focused on helping our students, families, staff and our community obtain resources for professionally trained crisis counselors and trauma therapists.
“At the same time, we have been and will continue to cooperate fully with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and the Oakland County District Attorney’s Office in their investigation. We could not say more because this is an ongoing investigation. We do not have all the facts and cannot interfere with the prosecution’s investigation. We know that this It caused frustration and anger but we are doing our best under difficult circumstances.
“After all the facts are obtained and released during the course of the trial, my recommendation to our school board is that we begin to review our entire system as other communities have done when faced with similar experiences.
“Our goal with all of this is to gather all the facts about what happened before, during and after this horrific incident. We are committed to doing this in a way that allows our community to move forward and not re-traumatize the members of the community who are experiencing this terrible event.
“We want you to know that we will be keeping our community informed as this process evolves so we can begin the healing process for the entire Wildcat Nation moving forward.
Overseer of the throne