When news broke of last week’s deadly shooting at Oxford High School, our hearts ached for all those affected. It was troubling again to see the impact this kind of violence had on our local school communities in the days that followed. Parents had concerns, students were processing their emotions and school staff and law enforcement had to act quickly to numerous incidents and attempt to keep everyone calm.

The timing of two incidents at Capac Community Schools on Thursday was particularly unfortunate. Either one on their own at any other point in time certainly would have been serious but the fact that staff had to deal with both just two days after the deadly shooting had to have been upsetting.

This represents the second tumultuous December for high schools too. Last year, the latest surge of COVID-19 forced high schools to go virtual. Going into December 2021, school leaders were once again dealing with surging virus numbers and expecting them to only rise once again. Now, on top of that, some are implementing new policies to ease concerns and keep everyone focused on learning too.

Unfortunately, social media plays a major role in exacerbating these incidents too. It’s another means for making threats or inappropriate comments and it helps spread rumors and misinformation about these events with a speed that’s hard for officials to respond to. School leaders, in the midst of everything else they have to deal with, must remind students and parents to use social media responsibly.

As a community, we hope and pray that the coming days and weeks are safe, calm and productive for local students and educators.