Students Reflect on Oxford, MI Shooting

What Can Be Done?

Ben Regazzini ('22), Orbit Contributor

With the tragedy in Oxford, Michigan continuing a trend of gun violence in schools throughout 2021 and years past, some students at RMHS recently reflected on prevention ideas and the systems in place to stop danger from entering our building. 

When news broke of the Oxford school shooting on November 30th, citizens all across the country mourned the deaths of four high school students. These young men and women are no different than the people who roam the halls here in our school’s community. Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, and Justin Schilling. They were innocent students who were killed as they went about their typical school day. It can and did happen there, and it can happen here too, even if it’s horrific to think about. 

Unfortunately, it feels far too often that we are faced with a devastating event that has unfolded like the shooting in Oxford. The first thought that comes to mind when you think of a potential decrease to gun violence in schools is gun control. Other ideas include armed security guards, or even something as simple as an anonymous system to report suspicious behavior. Many Americans believe it’s difficult to anticipate this horrible trend coming to an end without something being done. The students of RMHS had powerful and insightful opinions on this matter.

It feels like the government, regardless of party, hasn’t taken this issue seriously.

— Sam Giuliotti ('22)


Senior Sam Giuliotti said, “I’m honestly really fed up with this whole situation. It feels like the government, regardless of party, hasn’t taken this issue seriously. Mourning is not enough to stop this from happening. We need to make sure guns are kept away from those who are a harm to others.” The words of Giuliotti bring up a very important point. 

Prior to the shooting, the shooter (who’s name I won’t bring attention to) boasted about getting a new gun on his Instagram page. This post was public for all his peers to see. This in itself is a cause of concern for most students to come across. In fact, one Oxford student texted his mother asking to stay home out of fear. In comments aired to NPR, the mother of the student Robin Redding said, “This couldn’t just be random.” When I told senior Jeff Shindleman about the posts and the student who stayed home, it made him question if students had something or someone to turn to with their concerns. “There didn’t seem to be anywhere for students to go to describe these posts. Most people would not feel safe knowing he owned guns at such a young age. No one wants to go straight to administration…that feels really uncomfortable.” With Shindleman’s thoughts in mind, the idea of an anonymous tip system of suspicious behavior is brought to light. This way, students that find anything suspicious like a social media account showing firearms can feel safe in reporting their findings. 

Of course, there are more drastic measures outside of pushing for gun control or a tipping resource. Some students feel that a trusted armed guard could provide a feeling of security within the school. Senior Mike Nee said, “Someone like Officer Lewis who we know, or anyone else… Having them around (armed at entrances) would make me feel a lot better knowing they’re ready to stop any sort of threat. Sure, the doors are locked, but an intruder would not be faced with any immediate danger once inside.” Just like any option, it comes with its cons.

To me personally, having our school feel like a prison with an armed guard would only raise anxiety…

— Anna Bonazoli ('22)

These were brought up when I mentioned Nee’s idea to senior Anna Bonazoli. “Obviously I think that we need to do something about all of this violence in schools. I also think that people are feeling really anxious about going (to school) because of these dangers that we see kids exposed to so often. To me personally, having our school feel like a prison with an armed guard would only raise anxiety, not make me feel protected.” Senior Dom Pucci agreed. “I don’t think I’d like that.” When I asked him instead if he’d be willing to submit an anonymous report he said, “Yeah, if I saw something that really gave me bad vibes I would like to be able to do that.” 

As we mourn the deaths of the innocent people in Oxford, it is important to brainstorm solutions to prevent this from happening in our own community. If any of the above proposals is able to resonate, perhaps we can one day put an end to the disheartening rate of school shootings we have in this country.