State Watch

Michigan district requiring clear backpacks for students after deadly high school shooting

AP.

A Michigan school district is requiring that some students use clear backpacks after a gunman opened fire in the district’s high school in November, killing four students and injuring seven other people.

Superintendent Tim Throne of Oxford Community Schools announced in a statement last week that all middle school and high school students will be required to use clear backpacks “for the time being” upon returning to school this month.

Elementary school students, however, do not have to carry a clear backpack, but they are required to keep their backpacks in their lockers or cubbies throughout the day. They are not permitted to carry their bags during school hours.

Elementary and middle school students are set to return to classrooms on Monday, according to NBC News. Students who attend Oxford High School, the scene of the shooting, have not yet received a return date.

Throne said students were instructed to report to the classroom on Monday without their regular backpacks or other school materials and that they will be provided with clear backpacks.

The superintendent said the district has enough clear backpacks to distribute to middle and high school students “thanks to the generosity of so many in our community.”

Student Ethan Crumbley, 15, is facing 24 charges for allegedly shooting four students and injuring seven other individuals. He was charged as an adult and is facing counts including first-degree murder and terrorism causing death.

His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were also charged in connection to the shooting. They are each facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Throne last week said law enforcement will be present at all district buildings, including personnel from a personal security firm the district hired.

Trauma specialists and trained therapy dogs will also be available at schools.

In a video accompanying last week’s announcements, Throne said, “I know it was a different Christmas and holiday break for many of us.”

“Continue to reach out and support one another with your thoughts and prayers and reach out to your neighbors. I know that it has made a difference in many people’s lives,” he added.

The Oxford School District is currently the target of a lawsuit filed in connection with the shooting. The suit, which is seeking $100 million, was filed by the parents, Jeffrey and Brandi Franz, of two sisters who were at the high school at the time of the shooting and survived, according to The New York Times.

One of the students, Riley, 17, was shot in the neck in front of her sister, Bella, 14, according to the Times.

Throne, the Oxford Community Schools district, Oxford High School principal Steven Wolf, the dean of students, two guidance counselors and two teachers were among those named in the lawsuit, according to the Times.

Tags clear backpacks Mass shooting Michigan Oxford High School Shooting School shooting

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