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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

November 3, 2014 at 7:23 AM

Marysville-Pilchuck sophomore: ‘It feels good to be back at school’

Hundreds of community members greet students returning to Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Monday.  (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Hundreds of community members greet students returning to Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Monday. (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

UPDATE, 10:55 a.m. | “It feels really good to be back at school. People are upbeat. Not in a happy way, but just in an appreciation of each other’s company,” said Jordan Reynolds, 15, a sophomore at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, where students returned Monday morning.

As she arrived at the school doors, there were a lot of police officers, she said. Students were given hot chocolate and doughnuts and roses as they entered the building.

Students watch the assembly at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Motivational speaker Mike Smith addresses the crowd. (Photo by Jordan Reynolds)

Students watch the assembly at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Motivational speaker Mike Smith addresses the crowd. (Photo by Jordan Reynolds)

“There are a lot of people giving hugs: students, teachers, parents and relatives,” she said.

Reynolds called from the school gym before the assembly was about to begin.

UPDATE, 10:45 a.m. | Phillip Perez, 15, a sophomore at Marysville-Pilchuck, walked to school alone along a street lined by supporters shouting “We love you” and “Welcome back.”

The community support feels good, he said. He wasn’t scared to go back to school after the shooting.

“I feel support, the whole community coming together.”

He was in world history class when the shooting happened. His teacher locked the door, turned off the lights and the class huddled in a corner until police came.

He didn’t know any of the victims personally, but he said he can imagine what their friends and family are going through.

“It was so sad,” he said.

Perez planned to say hi to his friends and hug them as soon as he gets into the school. “Because it could have been them that could have been part of it,” he said.

Hundreds of community members, including Connie Dewdney, center, greet students returning to Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Monday

Hundreds of community members, including Connie Dewdney, center, greet students returning to Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Monday. (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

ORIGINAL POST | More than 500 people, many carrying umbrellas and candles, greeted the arriving school buses with waves and shouts of support at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Monday.

Students returned following a week off after the Oct. 24th shooting that left four students dead, including the shooter, and two students still in a Seattle hospital.

A memorial with flowers, balloons and messages of love covers the fence around the school.

James Sanchez, who has a son at Marysville-Pilchuck, arrived early outside the school, as a steady rain began to fall.

“This could have happened to anybody,” he said.

“As a parent, I want to make sure we let these students know that there are a lot of people out here who love them,” he said.

Matt Lashua, a 1996 Marysville-Pilchuck grad, was outside the school in his letterman’s jacket, and carrying an umbrella.

“I’m just out here to show support,” he said. “We want these students to know the are thousands of people in this community who care.”

After the shock from the shooting, administrators and teachers hope to transition to a new routine.

”No matter whether we know these people or not, it affects us either way,” said Cindy Doyle of Lakes Stevens. ”We’re all family.”

”No matter whether we know these people or not, it affects us either way,” said Cindy Doyle of Lakes Stevens. ”We’re all family.” (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Monday starts with a 10:30 a.m. assembly. Lunch is in the gym because the cafeteria where the shooting took place remains closed.

After a classroom open house, school is dismissed at 2:15 p.m. The routine class schedule at the high school resumes Tuesday.

Among the early arrivals was motivational speaker Mike Smith, who spoke at the school last year and who has been asked to speak to Monday’s assembly.

“I want to let them know that this isn’t going to define them,” said Smith, who lives in Nebraska. “They can pull together. They can move forward and do good things.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee asked residents to wear red and white — the school colors.

Joanne Coty, grandmother of a Marysville-Pilchuck student, was among many who turned out wearing red-and-white T-shirts that said on the front, “I am Marysville-Pilchuck” and on the back, “… gonna love you through it.”

The shirts are being sold locally to raise money for student programs.

Coty said if she were speaking at today’s assembly, she “would just tell them that I love them and I’m proud of this community and how they pulled together.”

Joanne Coty, a grandmother of Marysville-Pilchuck student, wears her red and white T-shirt in support of the school. (Jack Broom / The Seattle Times)

Joanne Coty, a grandmother of a Marysville-Pilchuck student, wears her red-and-white T-shirt in support of the school. (Jack Broom / The Seattle Times)

Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, died at 4:44 p.m. Friday from severe injuries sustained in the shooting, according to Providence hospital. Chuckulnaskit is the fourth student to have died, including Jaylen Fryberg, who shot his friends Oct. 24 in the school cafeteria before fatally shooting himself. Zoe Galasso, 14, died at the school that day. Gia Soriano, 14, died in the hospital on Oct. 26.

Another victim, Andrew Fryberg, 15, is critical in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center, according to an update Monday.

The fourth student injured, Nate Hatch, 14, is in satisfactory condition and continues to improve. He underwent surgery on his jaw Thursday, and more surgeries are planned.

Many people from throughout the community came out to support the students.

German Clavijo, 71, held his 10-month-old Bichon Frise, Sparky, under an umbrella and cheered as cars drove by Monday morning. He had tied a red bandanna with silver letters spelling “M” and “P” around Sparky’’s neck.

His 15-year-old daughter attends MPHS and knew all the victims, he said. He said he learned from her that hate resolves nothing.

“”This is a tragedy for all families, not just for some, including his (the shooter’s),” Clavijo said. “”If I had one single wish, it would be to put all of our efforts toward prevention. Because after the tragedy is too late.””

Rebecca Richmond, 36, said when she heard the Marysville community was gathering to support students, she knew she had to be there.

“”It just broke our hearts,”” Richmond said of the shooting. Her daughter, Hannah Richmond, 16, attends an online homeschooling program but has friends at MPHS.

“”I just feel really bad for everyone who is involved in this,”” Hannah Richmond said.

Cindy Doyle, 54, of Lake Stevens, stood with her daughter Shawnea Blair, 21, holding battery-operated candles they hoped would withstand the rain. They didn’’t know the victims, but they wanted to support the school anyway.

“”No matter whether we know these people or not, it affects us either way,”” Doyle said. “”We’’re all family.””

READ MORE:
As Marysville students return to school, leaders step up plans for mental-health grant
Happy ‘golden boy’ showed anger; some cite student dispute
Fire official defends choice of Everett hospital for shooting victims: Ambulances were ‘fastest way’
Marysville deaths show need to reach troubled teens online

Fence at MP High hidden by countless bouquets and remembrances as students return today. (Jack Broom / The Seattle Times)

Fence at MP High hidden by countless bouquets and remembrances as students return today. (Jack Broom / The Seattle Times)

Comments | More in General news | Topics: #MPHS, Marysville

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