Oxford’s school district will receive more than $700,000 in emergency funding from the U.S. Department of Education, nearly eight months after what was briefly the country’s deadliest school shooting since 2018.
Four students — Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre, Justin Shilling and Madisyn Baldwin — perished in the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting that also injured six students and a teacher.
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The U.S. Department of Education announced on Friday the grant funding through a program called Project SERV. Oxford Community Schools will receive a $707,600 grant, according to a news release. SERV stands for School Emergency Response to Violence.
“This Project SERV grant will help Oxford High School improve mental health supports for students and educators directly impacted by the trauma and tragedy of last year’s mass shooting,” Miguel Cardona, secretary of education, said in the release.
The funds will go to activities that “help restore a sense of safety and security for a district’s students, teachers, staff, and families,” according to the release. That could include mental health services and increased security.
About 5,900 students attend Oxford schools, according to state data.
Danielle Stublensky, Oxford’s spokesperson, wrote in a statement that the money will go to the district’s security team and mental health support for students and staff.
“Oxford Community Schools is thankful to the U.S. Department of Education for the Project SERV grant that will help support our ongoing recovery as a school community,” she wrote.
The department has awarded eight other Project SERV grants this year, including $1.5 million to the school district in Uvalde, Texas, where a mass shooting on May left 19 students and two teachers dead at Robb Elementary School.
Schools are eligible for the funding if their community has undergone a traumatic event that disrupted learning, including shootings, terrorism, natural disasters, school bus accidents and hate crimes.
State lawmakers in May also approved $10 million in state funding for the Oxford district to support students and faculty in the wake of the shooting.