Michigan School Shooting Forces NHS to Reflect on Security


Region 14

Nonnewaug high school from a bird’s eye view.

Sophie Pape, Reporter

On Nov. 30 at Oxford High School in Michigan, there was a mass shooting by one of their own, Ethan Crumbley, a sophomore at their high school. Ten students and one teacher were shot, leaving four dead. Crumbley will be tried as an adult on several charges, including murder and terrorism.

In the aftermath of the shooting, students and staff have reflected upon their sense of safety at Nonnewaug.

For one, Nonnewaug has a school resource officer in Chris O’Toole who works hard to maintain a safe atmosphere each day. Every day, O’Toole is in the building monitoring and watching what goes on to constantly ensure safety and reassure many students and staff that they are safe to come to school. 

“There are many things that SROs (school resource officers) do throughout the day, whether it’s monitoring cameras, walking the schools  and using knowledge and experience they acquired in their years of police work,” said O’Toole. “SROs and police officers also go through many hours of training that allow them to handle situations as they arise.”

Many students expressed their feelings about feeling safe at Nonnewaug. 

“I feel safe at this school because I have trust and faith in our community and trust in each other,” said Max Wolff, junior at NHS.

“I’ve lived in Woodbury my whole life, so I feel safe in this town and going to this school,” stated Mallory Tomkalski, also a junior. 

Nonnewaug has created an environment where students feel safe coming to school every day because of the trust they have in the school and town, despite everything they have seen happen in the world around them. 

Remembering Sandy Hook 

School shootings have been going on for decades — and a school 20 minutes down the road from Nonnewaug experienced the horror of a school shooting. Sandy Hook Elementary School experienced a mass shooting nine years ago on Dec. 14, 2012, killing 26 people, including one of Region 14’s own, Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung. 

This day touched the lives of many people in our community and is a day that nobody in the area will ever forget. Twenty-six people, including teachers and students, were killed that day. The majority of these students would be sophomores in high school today. 

School safety is an issue larger than just our small town and community, as many schools and towns have been affected by these tragedies.