Marysville school superintendent’s letter regarding deaths of 3 students

MARYSVILLE – Marysville-Pilchuck High School is mourning three recent deaths – one a student and two of former students.

Two are potential suicides and one a potential drug overdose, school officials said Tuesday.

Interim Superintendent Jason Thompson has sent a letter home to parents, advising them to be supportive of their children during this tragic time.

The letter also says the district will provide additional counseling support for students and staff as long as necessary, not only at M-P but at other district schools, too.

Ironically, October is recognized in Marysville and Tulalip as “Unity and Wellness Month.” Last week’s focus was on suicide prevention. Students dressed in yellow at a football game at Stanwood in support of efforts to prevent suicide. This week’s focus is on bullying prevention.

Thompson’s letter follows:

Dear Marysville & Tulalip Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I share this message with our community about a very difficult subject we have been dealing with in the Marysville School District. Sadly, we have lost three lives (two former students and one current) since the start of the school year.

As you can imagine, this has been a very heartbreaking and challenging time for our students, staff and families. It is a tragedy to lose a life and it is even more difficult when it is a young person full of potential.

Our community has been strong in times of sorrow, and we will continue to be so to support our families, our students, and our staff through difficult times like these. First and foremost is the fact that we work to do everything in our power to make certain our students feel safe, cared for, and valued. We’ve all heard the old adage “it takes a village to raise a child.” That has never rung more true than it does today.

The communities of Marysville and Tulalip love our children, all of them. That is a shared value across our school district, regardless of where we live or where we go to school, and each of us holds a tremendous responsibility to ensure every child feels valued, feels loved and is cared for in a way that shines a light on the hope they represent.

As you may have heard, October is recognized by the Tulalip Tribes and Marysville School District as ‘Unity and Wellness Month.’ Last week’s focus was on suicide prevention and this week is focused on bullying prevention. You may have noticed a focused social media campaign about these issues. It is our desire that as communities we can support each other and make everyone aware that there is hope and somewhere to turn, even when life seems difficult to continue. We have been providing extra counseling support for both students and staff, and will continue to do so for as long as necessary.

We also have asked our staff to be extra-vigilant to keep a close eye on our students as well as our fellow employees. Please keep our students, staff, and families close in your hearts and thoughts at this sad time.

Sincerely, Jason Thompson

Interim superintendent

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