North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

By Pam Stevens

911 calls only make us relive a dark moment in our history


The Marysville community has continued moving forward after the tragic events at Marysville Pilchuck High School on Oct. 24, however, the media seems to want to continue to glamourize what happened that by requesting the 911 calls that were made from scared and innocent victims.

I, for one, have chosen not to listen to those recordings, but many, especially the media, both local and nationwide, have decided that those calls should be shared with the world.

As a journalist, I understand the significance and need for public records and transparency, however, there are just some events that don’t need to be shared with the world – even if its perfectly legal.

I have seen many posts on Facebook that agree with my thinking. Most are upset that these tapes have been released to the public.

That’s not what upsets me. I’m troubled that there are those who feel the need to listen to them. From what people have said, many are from terrified students and a teacher who asked to be given her privacy.

It all comes back to the simple things we learned when in kindergarten. Treat others they way you would like to be treated.

I know that if my children had been involved in those heartbreaking moments in Marysville’s history, I wouldn’t want to hear them. I wouldn’t want to make them relive those moments of shear terror. After three weeks, after the healing has begun, after they have bravely stepped back into their high school, I wouldn’t want to force them to hear their fellow students living the most terrifying moment of their lives.

Yes, as a journalist I understand the right to full disclosure and I would fight for that right on most things. However, as a parent and as someone who cares about this community, there are just some things that are more important, and that’s people.

It is the right of anyone, not just the media, to request these tapes and other public records. It is also the right of those media outlets to offer them to the public, but it is our right to refuse to listen to them.

My hope is that we find out how we can help those suffering so much that they feel they have to go to schools or places of employment and shoot people.

This event has become a national news piece, which is understandable. We want to understand why these things are happening in our schools. We want to understand why these children are committing these crimes. However, replaying 911 calls during these events does not help us answer those questions.


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