The news of the Uvalde massacre at Robb Elementary, which took the lives of 19 children and a teacher in Texas, brings back painful memories in Metro Detroit, despite being 1,500 miles away. Dr. RJ Webber, the assistant superintendent for the Novi Community School District, said, “When they walk into school tomorrow, this notion that school should be one of the happiest, safest places there is, is not.” Webber who is used to helping his district understand the ALICE training that should help keep kids safe, feels that the Robb Elementary School shooting is slightly different from the Oxford shooting. Weber says since this was an elementary school shooting, on the drills, the adults run quarterback and the kids follow, with the goal of getting out alive. Weber says, “Young kids aren’t as mobile, depending on the age, so their ability to evade or exit a building, is just genuinely by nature, more difficult,” Webber said. “But as far as the core tenants of the training, they still are there. How to evade, how to exit a building, if possible.”
Mike Bouchard, the Oakland County sheriff, said that the importance of this story doesn’t need to be emphasized. After the shooting at Oxford High School Nov. 30, in which four students died, we all received weekly reminders about the court proceedings. “It’s incredibly raw given our recent experience in this area so it brings back flashbacks for all the students, teachers, parents in the community at large right here, in Oakland County and specifically in Oxford and to our people, our men and women that are very much involved on that day and are still dealing like many people with the aftermath,” Bouchard said. Bouchard also says we are all responsible for being vigilant. The bottom line, he says, is that people should speak out. “Because if you miss one thing, one time, it could be that time and it turns out to be a real deal,” he said. “So as I say time and time again, we’d rather check out 100 nothings than miss one real deal.”
As investigators continue to dig into the case, we will keep you updated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to families affected by this tragedy.