A senseless tragedy gives us reason to reflect

The following newsletter was sent to subscribers to Sen. Padden’s Report From Olympia, Sept. 14, 2017. To subscribe to Sen. Padden’s newsletters, click here.

Dear friends and neighbors,

Freeman High School.

Wednesday’s shooting at Freeman High School has shocked every one of us. This senseless tragedy claimed the life of one young student and wounded three more, and placed all Freeman students, faculty and staff in peril.

Anywhere in the world, this would be horrifying. But at a school just a few miles south of Spokane Valley, this incident touches us directly. We probably know someone who has a child at Freeman, or who graduated from the school. Two of my sons chose to attend Freeman; one was valedictorian. A third son coached a Freeman summer baseball team and took it to state. Throughout our community, many of us have a connection to Freeman that runs deep.

This is a time for us to put aside politics and other worldly concerns, and show our support for Freeman students, parents and staff. Let us be grateful for the heroism of the child who attempted to block the shooter and paid the ultimate price. For the courage of the school custodian who tackled the shooter and disarmed him. For the quick reaction of school officials who maintained order and prevented chaos. Let us pray for the Freeman families whose sons and daughters were in the line of fire, and for the many students who will be haunted for the rest of their lives. We stand with them. Today we are all Freeman Scotties.




Sen. Mike Padden

A statement from Freeman Schools

Randy Russell, superintendent of Freeman Schools, issued this statement Thursday in the wake of the shooting:

“Yesterday morning, an unspeakable tragedy occurred at Freeman High School. I speak for the entire Freeman family in sending sincere thoughts and prayers to the family of our student lost yesterday, and to the injured students and their families.

“As our community begins the process of healing, I invite parents and students to join the Freeman staff at a school district family meeting this evening at 7 p.m. in the Freeman High School gym.

“We will share as much information as possible, and we want you to be able to come together as a school community to ask any questions you might have as we plan to bring staff and students back to school. Counseling services will be available, and we encourage any parent or student to work with these professionals to help in the healing process. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for victims of this tragic event, and for your ongoing support for our children, staff and community.”

Contact us

If you have a question or concern about state government, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are here to serve you!

Phone: (509) 921-2460

Street address: 11707 East Sprague Ave., Suite 305, Spokane Valley, WA  99206

Email address: Mike.Padden@leg.wa.gov