$2.1 million will support MPHS victims, responders

MARYSVILLE — The federal government announced Friday it will provide $2.1 million dollars to support victims, witnesses and first responders affected by last year’s shootings at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

The grant will pay for mental health and victim services, additional school counselors, suicide prevention efforts and other programs at the high school and throughout the district.

“We’re excited about this and what we’ll be able to do,” said Marge Fairweather, the executive director of Victim Support Services.

The nonprofit provides two trauma therapists who mainly work with students at Marysville Pilchuck. Fairweather plans to hire a case manager and third therapist to reach more students in other schools.

On Oct. 24, 2014, a high school freshman shot his friends. Four students were killed and a fifth was seriously wounded. Shooter Jaylen Fryberg, 15, then killed himself.

The school district, Marysville, the Tulalip Tribes, Victim Support Services and Volunteers of America initially applied for $4.2 million. The amount was refined to meet the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.

After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Congress authorized the office to set aside $50 million a year to provide grants to victims and first responders after acts of terrorism or mass violence. The money comes from bond forfeitures and fines paid by white-collar criminals.

The federal office provided a $7.1 million grant for recovery efforts after a gunman in 2012 killed 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dianahefley.

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