A letter to the students of Milford High School

Maddie Berendt, Senior Managing Editor

It’s easy to say that something terrible could never happen here at Milford, after all; we’re a place where it seems like not much happens. We are located in a low-crime area, in a small town on the outskirts of the Detroit Metro area. The community is kind and supportive of one another. It seems like the perfect place to grow up safe and carefree.

So did Oxford. 
As we now live in the after effects, nothing seems the same. Whether you’re scared or angry, frustrated or sad, you’re not alone in what you’re feeling. Not a single person should have to be told that a place they found safety in, may not be capable of protecting them. As posts and messages online highlighted potential threats, the anxiety increased for many students who had never thought of their school as a dangerous place.

In the days that followed, adults told us we can’t be afraid to go to school. We can’t fear what might not happen. Never let those words invalidate what you’re feeling or what you were feeling. While we only received threats, they were terrifying for those who had just witnessed the culmination of what can happen in a place very much like Milford. It’s okay to worry or be scared because we will never truly know someone’s intentions. It’s okay to stay home if something doesn’t feel right. Every person deals with traumatic situations differently. Don’t let a person make you feel embarrassed or ashamed if you have been affected more by recent events than they have.

If you are struggling with what you have gone through, talk to a friend, sibling, classmate, or even a mental health professional–someone who can understand where you’re coming from. Nobody should process these events alone. At the end of the day, we’re all kids. We’re kids who have faced something our parents will never understand and that’s hard to come to terms with on both sides. We have a problem out of their control and they have to watch us navigate our way through it without knowing what guidance to give. Be patient with them if they say the wrong thing. They don’t know what we’ve felt or seen and had to come to terms with. If they offer you that ability to come talk to them, entertain the idea. Parents and students can use each other now more than ever.

While it’s difficult at this time to find positives out of this situation, there can be comfort in knowing that our school has more security presence and are now more adamant about preventing these types of serious situations. Though this information may not bring back the sense of safety we once had, administration and law enforcement are working hard to keep us as safe as possible.

To the people who entertain the idea of making these threats, as a fellow student, I want to make sure it’s known that if you don’t want to be here, don’t come. There is no need to threaten others or make any sort of post or writing that adds to the current anxiety. There is no need for theatrics that bring with them heavy consequences. It never was and never will be worth it. It’s not a funny joke to share between friends; it’s words that can’t be taken back and are disruptive in too many ways.

While we all try to recover from these past couple of weeks, look out for one another. Listen to those around you and offer advice or comfort if it’s wanted. We cannot continue on as we have by treating people in cruel ways. Students struggle with problems they never tell anyone, so please be kind to each other. We could all use a little kindness right now.