Oakland County students push for law changes, better mental health support after Oxford High School shooting

In the wake of the Oxford High School shooting and amid a wave of school threats, some Oakland County students do not feel safe going to class.

"It still feels a little unsafe at school because we’re all still mentally wondering is today going to be the day that one of these threats is not a false threat," said Natalie Tsimhoni, a high school junior.

Since the Nov. 30 school shooting that left four Oxford High School students dead, districts across Metro Detroit have been dealing with threats.

Read more Oxford HS shooting coverage here.

Tsimhoni is part of a student-led group, Sunrise Oakland County, which created a petition urging schools to go virtual until school threats are addressed.

Some students are struggling with processing the trauma of the shooting that has dashed dreams of a return to normalcy at school after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a year of virtual learning.

"A lot of students weren’t in their right mindset. They were still struggling with their mental health at the time. We felt like we should have gotten more support from our schools at the time.," said high school junior Anjali Rana.

High school senior Jimin Lee said she hopes the push from Sunrise creates more mental health awareness.

"Getting the counselors or other mental health personnel to reach out to us more frequently and check up on how we’re feeling about those situations, will definitely be helpful for us to gob back into school and feel like we have a safe learning environment," she said.

Currently, Michigan is 49th out of 50 states when it comes to counselors in schools. 

READ: Michigan ranks 49th in student to counselor ratio 

"I think I’ve only begun to feel a little bit safer, but that’s largely because my school district brought in the police chief during a board of education meeting. He gave a long presentation over what they’ve been doing," said Heather Chen, a high school senior. "A big thing that came out of this is awareness of this topic."

Students in Sunrise also hope they can use the momentum from their efforts to push legislatures to improve school safety measures and gun laws.