Independent 3rd party investigation report delay

 By Don Rush

Citing personnel changes at the Oxford School District – new superintendents, school board members and a new Executive Director of School Operations — Guidepost Solutions, the firm hired to investigate events leading up to and how the district handled the Nov. 30, 2021 high school school shooting announced last week their initial report will be delayed.

Last fall, Guidepost stated it should have an initial report ready for the public and school board by January. On their website last week they stated, “Because of these personnel changes and the opportunity to report to the Oxford community on the current security and threat assessment practices with additional information that derives from the increase in voluntary cooperation, Guidepost’s first report will now be released in Spring 2023. This report and any subsequent report will be released to the public at the same time as it is released to the Oxford Community Schools’ Board of Education and its administration. Our public report(s) will be unedited and without influence from any stakeholder associated with the Oxford Community Schools.”

In mid-September school board members Tom Donnelly and Korey Bailey resigned. Donnelly was the school board president, Bailey the board’s treasurer. New board members were appointed until new elected members could come on board last month. On Nov. 22, then superintendent Ken Weaver announced he was taking a medical leave of absence, and then resigning from the position. He was replaced by Anita Qonja-Collins, then Dr. Vickie Markavitch to serve as Superintendent on an interim basis.

In last week’s post to its website, Guidepost stated voluntary cooperation with the investigation has increased.

Critical witnesses, administrators, staff, teachers, in addition to Oakland County Sheriff employees seconded to Oxford Community Schools agreed to meet with us. Guidepost now expects to have a 70 to 80 percent voluntary participation rate at the conclusion of our investigation. This increase includes around 40 to 50 percent of the critical witnesses or witnesses represented by counsel who we have requested to interview either already sitting for their interview, will have their interview in the coming weeks, or have indicated their intent to meet with us over the next month.

. . . For those who have not met with us yet but may have information to contribute, Guidepost’s interviews are confidential and anonymous, where appropriate, meaning generally your voluntary cooperation will not be shared with the district, its counsel, or anyone else associated with the district. We are happy to meet with you at a site outside of Oxford that can help provide you with confidentiality and anonymity, where appropriate. Additionally, our investigators are all trauma informed and are intentional with their approach to ensure a witness’s safety and security.”

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