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Parents of MPHS victims say healing cannot begin until details of shooter’s suspension are known

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MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- Bryan Soriano says the pain of losing his teenage daughter is worse than ever.

A year ago, student Jaylen Fryberg opened fire in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School cafeteria, killing Soriano's daughter and three other students before taking his own life.

Jaylen also killed Andrew Fryberg, Zoe Galasso and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit.

Nate Hatch is the only survivor who was wounded and who bears the scars of that day on his face.

Nate’s mother says her son’s focus is on the students who died.

“Appreciating life, everyday challenge of a teenager is a little bit different now,” mother Denise Hatch said.

The parents say they cannot heal until they know more about what led up to the shooting.

Their attorney is requesting the school district turn over their rules and procedures dating back 10 years, specifically dealing with how it treats suspensions. They are requesting a number of other files, including complaints of bullying, harassment and intimidation.

“They have stonewalled us in obtaining documents pursuant to a public records act,” attorney Ann Deutscher said.

Deutscher represents the victim’s families. She claims in the days before the shooting, Jaylen was suspended for a physical fight. The families want details on that discipline and what kind of screening was done before he was allowed to return to school.

“He was suspended; we want to know what their suspension policy was. It appears he returned back to school without an interview,” Deutscher said.

“Due to the breadth and the length and the volume of what she is requesting, it will take a considerable amount of time to gather those materials,,” Marysville school district’s attorney Pat Buchanan said.

Buchanan added that they have to filter through as many as 10 million e-mails due to the public disclosure request.

The district would not reveal the details of Jaylen’s suspension except to say all students are treated equitably. They say administrators have the discretion to impose suspensions ranging anywhere from 1 to 10 days.

“No policies were violated, no laws were violated, the district was in full compliance,” Buchanan said.

But the parents say they will continue to fight for answers. Their attorney says they will file a lawsuit to get the documents if they have to.

It all boils down to whether their children’s lives could have been saved and whether the district missed warning signs that Jaylen Fryberg was troubled.

“It doesn’t help with the healing process, that’s for sure,” Soriano said.

With one day left before the one-year anniversary of the shooting, parents are also concerned about safety. They say not enough has been done since the shooting.

The district disagrees. They say they have more counselors and programs for students aimed at helping them get through the tragedy. They also have hired more school resource officers, going from three to five districtwide.

Three of those officers will serve Marysville-Pilchuck.