MARYSVILLE, Wash. — October’s deadly shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School devastated the tight-knit community.
Still reeling, the community was faced with another scare last week when someone called in bomb threats at the school. On Monday, parents learned of a new concern.
“I heard the sirens coming, and now every time I hear sirens I freeze, it’s like what now? What now?” said MPHS parent Teresa Jorgenson.
It has been nearly three months since a fellow student fatally shot four teens and wounded another in the high school cafeteria before taking his own life, and the sound of sirens still scares Jorgenson.
Her son is 15-years-old and a special needs student at the school. He was in school the day of the fatal shooting.
“It was so scary, because I knew it was my son, not just somebody else like when I saw the other school shootings — it was happening to my son, our kids,” said Jorgenson.
The lives of everyone connected to the school changed on that day, and that’s why a Monday afternoon meeting was called in the school auditorium for parents and community members.
“My niece and nephew are growing up in this town and I want to see what they’re going to do to make it more safe,” said Diane Pringle, a Marysville resident. “I just live down the road from the school.”
Pringle said she’s worked in triage situations and was thrilled to learn the district hired counseling coordinator Mary Schoenfeldt. She is also serving as the director of the Marysville Tulalip Recovery Team.
Other parents were anxious to learn more about last weeks threats at the school.
“I want to know how they access the bomb threats, because it’s hard to feel safe,” said Jorgenson.
Last week, there were three threats at the school. Each more outlandish than the last — from threats of dynamite in a truck, to Russian Commandos in the area to mustard gas.
“There are people out there looking to gain significance, and this is a way that they do it,” said Marysville Police Chief Rick Smith.
Smith said such threats are common following school shootings. He told parents all of them were hoaxes.
But trauma experts warned suicide is also common and said they’re aware of 25 suicide-related concerns since the shooting.
The community’s recovery team — made up of experts, police, school and the community members — has hired an expert to meet with students Tuesday to educate them on suicide prevention, screening and recovery.
“We will continue to be diligent in everything that we do,” said Smith.
A team from the International Trauma Center in Boston will also offer suicide prevention and social media training to parents and community members on January 21st and 22nd