April 10, Details on Friday's Threatening Calls

Dear Oxford Students, Parents, and Staff,

I am writing this letter to reassure you of our diligence in our approach to the safety and security of our school community. I understand the importance to share as much information as possible with our school community during this time of healing. I also know that in these situations the district follows the lead of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) in what and how much information we can release so as to not jeopardize their investigation to ultimately bring justice and accountability.  Since our communication on Friday afternoon, the OCSO has released more detail about Friday’s threats to the public; therefore, we are able to share more information to help give you understanding on the decisions that were made.

On Friday, our high school received three concerning and threatening consecutive phone calls.  Also, three other school districts in our area received threatening or concerning phone calls on Friday as well.  What was said to each district within the phone calls was different in content prompting different actions to be taken at each school including lockdowns and “soft” lockdowns. Although it was considered, Oxford High School chose not go into a lockdown on Friday.  I want to share with you the many factors that went into this decision:

  1. In the first call, the person speaking used a British accent and identified himself as Ethan Crumbley stating that he was depressed and he would “come back to finish the job.” The same caller called back two more times using an Indian accent and laughter could be heard in the back ground. The third call was answered by our school resource officer and the caller threatened to “slap him” If he hung up the phone. The threats were not specific in nature and did not mention being in our school building or on our school campus.
  2. Our academic setting is secure behind two sets of locked doors.
  3. To enter the building, visitors must interact with a security guard who is stationed in the front hallway outside of the office. This security guard is, more often than not, armed.
  4. These phone calls were received at the beginning of a class period rather than during or near an upcoming passing period allowing law enforcement time to investigate and assess the situation to determine our next steps and whether a lockdown was necessary.
  5. We do not want to put students and staff through any unnecessary psychological trauma by going into a lockdown when it is not warranted, therefore, particular consideration was taken  when making the decision whether to lockdown or not.
  6. As we were sending the first communication on this situation to our high school parents, I was made aware of the other schools in our area that had received threats.  These schools received more specific threats that did not contain the same content (laughing and use of accents) as our calls. Soon after the first message was sent to OHS parents, I also learned that these schools that were in lockdown would be moving out of them shortly as their threats also appeared not to be credible.

On Friday, we used all of the factors above to hold off putting the school in lockdown, given our current state.

Keeping our staff and students safe and secure is our number one priority. I want to reassure our school community of the following steps the district takes when assessing security issues and deciding how to proceed and what to communicate.

  1. We use many sources of information to decide how to proceed in any situation.
  2. At all times our school resource officer and law enforcement are consulted when threats are received.
  3. We share all information we can with law enforcement in hopes that they are able to identify and prosecute the perpetrator of these crimes. Unfortunately, much of this information we cannot share with the public as it impedes open investigations.
  4. Our relationships with our local law enforcement agencies are strong and cooperative. We greatly appreciate their assistance and professionalism. We cannot say that enough or strongly enough.
  5. Each of these situations are unique and involve a complicated set of “facts.”
  6. We maintain a heightened sense of security until we are able to get everyone home.

Lastly, I do want to address another sad fact. Friday’s situation will not be our last time dealing with these type of phone calls or situations. Although, I can always hope. I would like to caution our community on the severity of these crimes. These types of actions carry severe consequences which can include incarceration. In addition, the impact on the mental health of our students is heart breaking to watch. I was at the high school at the end of the day and witnessed it firsthand.  Please be reminded a 24/7 Resource and Crisis helpline/text/chat remains available for anyone who would like to speak with professionally-trained Helpline volunteers from Common Ground at 1.800.231.1127 and 1.844.446.4225.

As we work to build a stronger school community, we need to rely on each other and to work together to build up our young people. It is important for them to see how our community can work to stay strong and pick each other up when needed. I am proud of our students and staff on how they handled Friday’s situation. As we face these situations and weather them together, we work to build up our resiliency for handling future adverse situations. Each step, no matter how big or small, is an important one in our journey to our new normal. Take care and thank you for your support.


Ken Weaver
Oxford Community Schools Superintendent