Column: What we can learn from Marysville, Wash.

Dominic Renzetti, Assistant Sports Editor

This week in the city of Marysville, Wash., they’re remembering Zoe R. Galasso and Gia Soriano, two students who were killed in a shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School last Friday.

They’re also remembering a third person too, and it might come to the surprise of some. They’re remembering Jaylen Fryberg, the one who pulled the trigger before then turning the gun on himself.

Fryberg, a 15-year-old freshman football player who was named a prince on the school’s homecoming court just a week earlier, texted five friends and invited them down to lunch before killing two and wounding three others.

The others, Shaylee Chuckulnaskit and Andrew Fryberg (a cousin of the shooter) remain in critical condition. Nate Hatch, also a cousin of the shooter, was shot in the jaw and was updated to satisfactory condition on Monday.

The students of the school are mourning the loss of Galasso, Soriano, and yes, Jaylen Fryberg, which might come as a shock to some.

According to a report in the Associated Press, students lined the chain-link fence outside the high school with memorials and candles, some of them bearing the name “Jaylen.” Hatch, one of the students injured in the shooting, took to Twitter to forgive, saying “I love you and I forgive you jaylen rest in peace.”

This is a reaction not commonly seen by us, the public, or even professionals. In the AP report, Carolyn Reinach Wolf, a mental health attorney who studies mass shootings said the response is “different.”

“This is a very different response,” she said. “Some of that is a credit to the community: People are able to get past the grief of the victims and see that the shooter’s family is grieving and horrified just as much.”

When I read all this, I was pretty blown away. We all like to think of ourselves as forgiving people, but what Hatch did is certainly an amazing thing.

Some people have been critical of the response, saying that it’s disrespectful to the victims to include a murderer in the memorials.

I disagree. If Hatch can find it within himself to forgive someone who has permanently changed his life, I think others should be able to as well.

Hatch is only 14-years-old, and already, his life will never be the same. What he’s experienced is an incredibly traumatic and difficult experience. He’d be able to carry a grudge with him for the rest of his life. He could be angry, and I think a lot of people would say he has the right to be angry – but he’s not.

What this community doesn’t need is anger.

While the exact motives behind Jaylen’s actions aren’t yet clear, reports indicate that he had been having difficulty coping with loss and rejection from a female friend.

More anger isn’t what this community needs.

Forgiveness is a step in the right direction. Anger is what led to such a tragedy. Forgiveness is the only way to move forward.

Dominic Renzetti is a senior family and consumer sciences major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].