OXFORD, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan high school where four students were fatally shot in late November will reopen Monday for the first time since the attack with the school’s principal declaring that “we are reclaiming our high school back.”
Oxford High School students have been attending classes at other buildings since Jan. 10.
Four students were killed and six students and a teacher were injured during the Nov. 30 shooting. A fellow student, Ethan Crumbley, 15, is charged with murder and other crimes. His parents also are facing charges.
The high school is in Oakland County, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit. The school’s interior has been renovated since the shooting with new paint, wall graphics and ceiling tiles.
Principal Steve Wolf said in a video posted Sunday that construction crews had been working “tirelessly” on the renovations and school staff worked hard to “prepare our students for a safe return to school.”
“We have been through so much to get to this moment. We’ve been grieving together, we’ve been praying together, we’ve attended funerals, vigils and memorials and we have been absolutely heartbroken. And we’ve been angry,” Wolf said in the video. “Yet we’ve been determined to carry on … And we are reclaiming our high school back.”
Classes were scheduled to resume at the school at 10:20 a.m. Monday, a late start for the school as it reopens to students, said Dani Stublensky, a spokeswoman for Oxford Community Schools.
The district has asked media to stay away from the school campus as students return Monday.
“The kids are just trying to heal and recover,” she said.
A temporary memorial set up outside the school was removed before students returned. District Superintendent Tim Throne said experts advised that removing it would help students “further their healing process.” A permanent memorial is planned.
“As a community, we will get through this with love and grace for one another,” Throne said last week, referring to the school’s reopening and legal cases related to the shooting.