District response to Marysville death threats to be evaluated

A third-part investigator is set to complete the review, the Marysville School District said Monday.

MARYSVILLE — A third-party investigator has been asked to evaluate how the Marysville School District handled recent death threats against minority students, according to a news release sent Monday by the district.

The threats occurred in two separate incidents, in December and January.

In the first, two boys talked about harming their Black peers while in an online class. One also repeated a racial slur, court records show.

Later, a 20-year-old Lake Stevens man reportedly posted a picture of a gun with a racist message on a Marysville student’s social media page. That incident has been investigated, and detectives have recommended the man be charged with a hate crime.

In recent weeks, students, families and activists have shared their experiences with racism in Marysville schools, and have demanded some school district leaders to step down.

On Saturday, roughly two hundred gathered at Comeford Park in Marysville. A couple whose children were targeted shared their pain with the crowd, as well as frustrations with the district.

“As a district, we very much regret the way these incidents have hurt our students and families,” reads the release signed by Acting Superintendent Lori Knudson.

Superintendent Jason Thompson has been on medical leave since March 19. It is not clear when he expects to return.

“We realize that relationships and trust must be rebuilt and this will take some time,” the release continues. “We also realize that actions must be taken in order to start the process of healing in our community.”

Besides completing an investigation, the district has placed the two boys who made the initial threats in an “independent program outside of school” to meet educational requirements, where they do not have contact with other students during instructional time, the release said.

It is not clear when the boys were placed in the program, but they are set to stay there the remainder of the year, according to the district.

The district also said it has plans to “refine our safety plan to ensure the safety of all students as they return to in-person learning.”

Students are set to return to campus April 14.

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