Chippewa Valley Schools bus driver Barb Csernai helps inscribe “Oxford strong” onto a bus prior to departure. Bus drivers from across Macomb County teamed up to show support to the Oxford School Community Dec. 8.

Chippewa Valley Schools bus driver Barb Csernai helps inscribe “Oxford strong” onto a bus prior to departure. Bus drivers from across Macomb County teamed up to show support to the Oxford School Community Dec. 8.

Photo by Alex Szwarc


Clinton Township bus drivers show support for Oxford colleagues

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published December 21, 2021

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MACOMB COUNTY — One after another, the buses left the parking lot, in support of the Oxford community.

Bus drivers across Macomb County teamed up to show support to Oxford Community Schools. They met at the Chippewa Valley Schools Administrative Center in Clinton Township the evening of Dec. 8. They then traveled, with a police escort, to Oxford High School — about eight buses in all.

Messages such as “Oxford strong” were inscribed on the buses prior to departure.

The effort was organized by Chippewa Valley School bus drivers.

“We saw on TV they have a memorial in front of the school, and we as a community wanted to show our support to the Oxford community and to the families of the victims that were shot and killed,” Michele Brazier, Chippewa Valley Schools bus driver, said.

She added that the goal was to have Oxford know that, from across the miles, they are loved.

Connie Cowell drove one of the buses from Chippewa Valley Schools.

“The situation is horrific, and we deal with students on a daily basis, so I couldn’t imagine losing one of my students,” she said. “This is such a great turnout from other districts at the last minute. It’s the least we can do to show our support.”

While at Oxford High School, bus drivers signed the school’s memorial banner, had a candlelight vigil, prayed and delivered memorial tributes to their transportation colleagues in Oxford.

Stars were made with the names of the four student victims — Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana and Justin Shilling — and placed outside of the school.

Despite how often shootings occur, Cowell said, she would have never thought that a school shooting would be this close.

Fellow Chippewa Valley driver Barb Csernai has driven for the district for 15 years.

“It’s a terrible tragedy they are going through for the holidays and for any time, period,” she said.

A press release notes the bus tribute came together in one day, resulting in many school districts joining.

Brazier said a bus driver came in the morning before the drive to Oxford, asking around for what the district could do for Oxford.

“All of a sudden, it snowballed into all of Macomb County,” Brazier said. “Everybody started playing a key role and started to organize together. Everybody wants to show some support for these families.”    

She noted that it was important for Oxford families to know they are not alone.

“We feel so deeply saddened for them,” she said. “The love is everywhere for them and care so much about them. We are there to help heal their shattered hearts.”

Once the buses that departed from Clinton Township got to 32 Mile Road, they met up with buses from other school districts.

Participating local districts, over a dozen in Macomb County, included Utica Community Schools, Roseville Community Schools and Warren Consolidated Schools.

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