Don’t Be A Monster

Kids meet Frank, a victim if bullying. Frank was featured in a video about bullying that presented by Georgetown Morgue Haunted House staff members.
Kids meet Frank, a victim of bullying. Frank was featured in a video about bullying that was presented by Georgetown Morgue Haunted House staff members.


By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

During the month of October, school assemblies are held nationwide to talk to America’s youth about bullying, a serious situation that unfortunately is often overlooked. Don’t Be A Monster! is an organization that is informing students, fourth grade and up, that the bullying issue is real. Too often bullying is brushed off like it’s no big deal. In many cases victims are somehow left responsible and sent off with the ‘sticks and stones’ mantra when searching for advice.

Traumatic scars, caused by bullies, were initially emotional cuts that were once quite deep. According to the program’s research, over 90% of kids are bullied in school. Amongst the youth in the state of Washington, suicide is the third leading cause of death. One of the main contributing factors to suicide is harassment from classmates.

The Georgetown Morgue Haunted House in Seattle participates in the program and sends their staff to local schools to help kids identify what bullying is and how to step up when one of their peers is picked on. As a perfect tie-in to Tulalip/Marysville Unity Month, the Georgetown Morgue team paid a visit to the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club on a chilly Friday afternoon.

“You know we have all kinds of monsters and ghouls at the haunted house, but you know those aren’t real. But there are real monsters out there, bullies,” stated Lynette, a Georgetown Morgue staff member, to the group of kids filling the Club gymnasium.

A video presentation about a new student, Frank, who is struggling to fit in was shown to the youth. Frank, based on Doctor Frankenstein’s’ creation, is trying to adjust to his new school, however, because of how he looks he becomes an outcast. The video portrays popular kids using cruel words to hurt Frank’s feelings. At the end of each scene, somebody stands up for Frank and tells the bully to stop. The video displayed different types of bullying such as physical, emotional, and its most recent form, cyber-bullying.

The presentation showed Frank logging into his Facebook account to a plethora of messages. Statements such as ‘nobody likes you,’ ‘go away,’ and the horrific ‘kill yourself’ are comments that are sadly left on kids profiles and comment sections daily.

Lynette attempted to project her voice over the kids who lost interest in the assembly by stating, “I knew somebody like Frank, who went to my high school, that was pretty much like that. He always smelled like urine, his clothes were filthy, his teeth were yellow. He walked the halls alone with his head down and nobody sat with him at lunchtime. Nobody was kind to him. It was terrible, but this type of stuff does happen, and…”

After several attempts to re-engage the youth in the topic at hand, Lynette’s statement would unfortunately remain incomplete because of constant interruptions from the kids. She stated that over half of her presentation was cut short as she gave up the battle for the youth’s attention. She called upon special guest Frank, the character from the video, to make a quick appearance as the kids exited the gym.

Despite the many interruptions, Lynette’s message is one of much importance. Kids and parents need to be aware and heed the signs of bullying to help prevent it.


The following information and more can found at

Signs a Child is Being Bullied

  • Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs. Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:
  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problem. Get help right away.

Signs a Child is Bullying Others

  • Kids may be bullying others if they:
  • Get into physical or verbal fights
  • Have friends who bully others
  • Are increasingly aggressive
  • Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
  • Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
  • Blame others for their problems
  • Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
  • Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity

Why don’t kids ask for help?

  • Statistics from the 2012 Indicators of School Crime and Safety show that an adult was notified in less than half (40%) of bullying incidents. Kids don’t tell adults for many reasons:
  • Bullying can make a child feel helpless. Kids may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again. They may fear being seen as weak or a tattletale.
  • Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied them.
  • Bullying can be a humiliating experience. Kids may not want adults to know what is being said about them, whether true or false. They may also fear that adults will judge them or punish them for being weak.
  • Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated. They may feel like no one cares or could understand.
  • Kids may fear being rejected by their peers. Friends can help protect kids from bullying, and kids can fear losing this support.

South Dakota Slated to Cut Native American History

Beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year, high school students in South Dakota will not be learning about Native Americans. Above, Chief Joseph.
Beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year, high school students in South Dakota will not be learning about Native Americans. Above, Chief Joseph.
Sheena Louise Roetman, Indian Country Today

South Dakota high school students will not be learning about Native Americans next year, thanks to some quietly approved changes in content standardsthat no longer require students to study early American history.

Beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year, high school students in South Dakota may chose one of three courses to satisfy their single U.S. history requirement: Early U.S. History, Modern U.S. History or Comprehensive U.S. History.

A group of 35 educators made up the South Dakota Social Studies Content Standards Revision Committee, which recommended the adjustments that were approved on August 24, after a year long approval process – the first changes to be made since 2006.

RELATED: Doctrine of Discovery: A Scandal In Plain Sight

The changes effectively remove a large part of American historical context from the required curriculum, including colonialism, the American War for Independence, slavery, Manifest Destiny, the Civil War and women’s suffrage.

Students may still opt to take Early U.S. History, they also now have the option of avoiding it altogether, which makes it a “non-standard standard,” said Ben Jones, dean of arts and sciences for Dakota State University in Madison, as told to the Argus Leader.

The entire content standards report emphasizes critical thinking, inquiry, communication and problem solving skills.

“Rather than just having then memorize a list of historical events on a time line,” Michael Amolins, Harrisburg School District Secondary Curriculum Director, told KSFY, “We’re trying to get them to use that information in context so that when they’re looking at current events they can make good and informed decisions as citizens and as voters.”

But this leads to another concern – what happens when students get to college?

“What we’re going to get is students who don’t differentiate,” Michael Mullins, a history professor at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, told KSFY. “Say, Abraham Lincoln’s time period from George Washington’s time period from the Puritans. And it will get lumped together and we’ll wonder why.”

Jones told the Argus Leader, “It’s disabling their citizenship.”

According to the Argus Leader, instructors from colleges and universities around the state submitted a letter to the board opposing the lack of required history. This list included representatives from Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, Northern State University, Augustana University, Presentation College, the University of Sioux Falls and Black Hills State University.



Seattle School Named After Robert Eagle Staff, Fourth to Have Indigenous Name

The Post-Intelligencer Collection, Museum of History & Industry/AP ImageThe names of Robert Eaglestaff (left) and Billy Frank Jr. were among those being considered for a new middle school proposed on an important Duwamish site in the Licton Springs neighborhood of Seattle. The school will be named for Eaglestaff.
The Post-Intelligencer Collection, Museum of History & Industry/AP Image
The names of Robert Eaglestaff (left) and Billy Frank Jr. were among those being considered for a new middle school proposed on an important Duwamish site in the Licton Springs neighborhood of Seattle. The school will be named for Eaglestaff.
Richard Walker, Indian Country Today

Seattle’s newest middle school will be named for the late Robert Eagle Staff, Lakota, principal of American Indian Heritage High School from 1989-1996.

The Seattle School Board voted June 17 in favor of the naming. “The extensive community engagement naming process has resulted in majority support to honor the accomplishments and legacy of a great educator, Robert Eagle Staff,” said Jon Halfaker, executive director of schools for the Seattle School District’s Northwest region.

“It’s huge” for the Native community, said the late principal’s son, Louis Eaglestaff, who spells his name as one word as his father did. Eaglestaff said the district chose to spell Eagle Staff as two words, out of respect for the wishes of family members in South Dakota who spell it that way.

No matter. “Even though he did so much for students, the school name is validation that [his legacy] is always going to be there,” said Eaglestaff, a kindergarten teacher in nearby Bellevue. “I don’t need validation, because what he did was enough for us. But it’s something to be proud of.”

RELATED: Two Native Leaders’ Names Among Those Being Considered for New Seattle School

Robert Eagle Staff Middle School will be built at the site of the former Wilson-Pacific School, which housed American Indian Heritage School. The new middle school will have room for 850 students, as well as 150 from the American Indian Heritage School program. It is scheduled to be completed in 2017.


Top: an architect’s rendering of the new Cascadia Elementary School. Bottom: the new Robert Eagle Staff Middle School. (Mahlum Architects)
Top: an architect’s rendering of the new Cascadia Elementary School. Bottom: the new Robert Eagle Staff Middle School. (Mahlum Architects)


The former Wilson-Pacific School site is important to Seattle’s Native community. It is the site of a spring, called Licton (Liq’tid), which is historically and culturally significant to the Duwamish people. American Indian Heritage hosted powwows and cultural programs for young people, and the buildings featured Native-themed murals by artist Andrew Morrison, Apache/Haida. The walls with the murals are being saved and will be incorporated into the new school buildings.

Getting the school named for Eagle Staff was part of a long effort by the Native community—an effort that continues now in trying to rebuild the American Indian Heritage program.

The school board’s vote “is the culmination of a two-year campaign which included active lobbying, a documentary, online petitions, many phone calls, tons of letters written in support, and community meetings,” wrote Sarah Sense-Wilson, Lakota, chairwoman of the Urban Native Education Alliance.

“The next fight is having a Native-focused high school in [Eagle Staff] school.”

During Eagle Staff’s leadership, American Indian Heritage High School had a 100 percent graduation rate with all graduates going on to college. Eagle Staff, a University of North Dakota Hall of Fame basketball player, passed away unexpectedly at age 43, and enrollment in the school he led started to decline amid changes in funding and program support.

The school buildings fell into disrepair as the district diverted funding to other priorities. By 2012, plans were developed to build a new school to accommodate projected enrollment growth and alleviate overcrowding in three other middle schools. In 2013, voters approved a capital levy to fund construction of several new schools and to modernize others. In 2014, the American Indian Heritage School program was merged with a program from another school, also closed for new construction, renamed Licton Springs, and moved temporarily to another site.

“Licton Springs is going to take another 3-5 years of development to reach a level of Native focus we think is authentic,” Sense-Wilson wrote in an email. “Still no Native staff, no language, no cultural programming at Licton. A majority of the kids are non-Native.”

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Larry Nyland recommended the school board name the school in honor of Eagle Staff based on input at community meetings and comments from 190 members of the public. Supporters at the final community meeting on May 4 included members of Eagle Staff’s family. Only three people at the meeting spoke in favor of naming the school after another nominee, Dr. Caspar Sharples, an early 20th century Seattle physician and co-founder of Children’s Hospital. Other names considered included Billy Frank Jr., Nisqually (1931-2014), treaty rights activist and environmental leader.

A 660-student elementary school will be built adjacent to Robert Eagle Staff Middle School. The school board voted to name it Cascadia, after the geographic bioregion that includes Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. Other names nominated included author-poet-playwright Sherman Alexie, Spokane; author-poet-actor Maya Angelou; Josephine Corliss Preston (1873-1958), the first woman elected to state office in Washington; and Dr. Caspar Sharples.

Several indigenous nations have ties to Seattle, including the Duwamish Tribe, the Muckleshoot Tribe, and the Suquamish Tribe. Of 92 public schools in Seattle, only four have indigenous names: Leschi, the mid-1800s Nisqually leader; Sacajawea, the Lemhi Shoshone interpreter and guide for the Lewis and Clark Expedition; Chief Sealth (an anglicization of Si’ahl), the mid-1800s leader of the Duwamish and Suquamish; and Eagle Staff.



Community Recovery Team Launches Website



Marysville School District


The landing page of the new community recovery team website reads: “We’re All in This Together”. The website is the product of a joint collaboration between the Tulalip Tribes, City of Marysville, and the Marysville School District.

The purpose of the website is to provide stakeholders across the Marysville and Tulalip communities with a common place to find information and resources on healing, hosted events, trainings and details on the larger recovery efforts in the aftermath of the tragic murder/suicide that occurred at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School campus on October 24, 2014.

Since the tragedy, the Tribes, City, School District, and the Marysville and Tulalip leaders, community members, and members in the field of post-trauma events have been meeting regularly to plan and coordinate efforts for the Marysville and Tulalip communities. Through this work, a Community Recovery Team developed and is comprised of members from all three entities including area-wide representation from Victims Support Services, the Ministerial Association, Volunteers of America, American Red Cross, Marysville YMCA, United Way of Snohomish County, and so many more who have come together in support of our youth and communities. The work of the committee has included coordinating trainings, providing resources, holding community meetings, and providing support for the families and victims of the tragedy and others. The website will now consolidate all the information generated by this team into a single website for community members to access.

The website is shared by the Tribes, the City, and the District, and will be updated regularly with new information and events as they are scheduled, resources, and other pertinent information.

We are Marysville/Tulalip United – visit us at

The Muckleshoot Tribe is spreading traditional food through schools

Shawn Saylor, the kitchen coordinator for the Muckleshoot Indian School, holds a piece of salmon to be served at the school.
Shawn Saylor, the kitchen coordinator for the Muckleshoot Indian School, holds a piece of salmon to be served at the school.


By Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission


The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe is making sure traditional foods are part of many of the meals it serves. Six kitchens across the tribe – including in schools and elder facilities – adopted new protocols to encourage the use of traditional foods.

The Muckleshoot Indian School is using the protocols to designate at least one day a week for traditional foods. The introduction of traditional food has been a learning process for both the kitchen staff at the school and the school community, said Shawn Saylor, the school kitchen coordinator.

The Muckleshoot school kitchen began introducing traditional foods soon after the protocols were in place four years ago. But even then, students were still able to choose a cold sandwich if they didn’t like the traditional option.

But after awhile that changed. “We don’t even make the sandwiches available on traditional food day anymore,” Saylor said. “The kids just forgot they didn’t like salmon. We don’t even do things like Sloppy Joe’s anymore because the kids just don’t like them.”

“Parents come in and visit us and they end up saying “I didn’t know they fed you so well here,’” Saylor said.

Each Thursday the kitchen staff prepares a meal following the traditional food protocols. Popular choices include halibut, seafood soup (which includes clams, shrimp, mussels and salmon), fish tacos or salmon. “We end up doing salmon a ton of different ways,” Saylor said. The school buys salmon directly from the tribe’s seafood enterprise.

The kitchen staff have also served elk and venison, even though it drives up the cost of the meals. “We will occasionally have a hunter donate meat to us,” he said.

The protocols also call for eliminating processed foods, trans-fat oils and high fructose corn syrup.

The kitchen staff also regularly meets with students to discuss how to make traditional Thursdays better. “We listen to the students and we like to explain why we do certain things in person,” Saylor said. “It builds trust between us and the kids. We even sometimes get food suggestions from them to try out.”

“The best part of my day is when kids come through the line on traditional food day and say “This is awesome,’” said Saylor.

USDA dumps millions in lunch money on local food


By Nathaneal Johnson, Grist

For the past couple years, kids around the U.S. have been sharing pictures of their gross school lunches on social media. These images are often accompanied by the hashtag #thanksMichelleObama, since the first lady has been trying to make school lunches healthier. The rationale is that these efforts are actually making the lunches yuckier.

The thing is, raise your hand if your public-school lunches were delicious. Didn’t think so. It’s a clever political dodge to focus the dissatisfaction with student lunches on the reformer-in-chief, because disgusting school food has been a dependable reminder that we live in America for as long as most of us can remember.

Sure, there are growing pains that come with the reforms. Schools have already cut budgets to the bone, and now many are having to provide money to the nutrition program. It makes no sense that we have to choose between educating kids and feeding them. Still, students blaming Michelle Obama for bad school lunches is like prisoners blaming a reform-minded warden for putting the guards in a foul mood.

For years, the U.S. has been funding school lunch programs at a level that pretty much only allows for disgustingness. And that hasn’t changed. But the USDA is now parceling out money to help various pilot programs and projects around the country. On Dec. 2, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack went down to Common Market, a sustainable food hub in Philadelphia, to announce a new round of Farm to School grants (details here).

Since 2009, the USDA has provided $160 million for school kitchen equipment, $15 million for making the connections between farm and school, and $5.2 million for training and technical assistance.

Common Market is one of the grant recipients. The money will allow it to do more work with public charter schools. When I asked the co-founder, Haile Johnston, if he thought the money would make student lunches better, he didn’t hesitate. “Without a doubt,” he said.

“When we are able communicate where and how food is grown, students get more interested in it,” he said. “Also, the food we are working with is not processed. It comes from local farms. So it’s fresher, it tastes better, and it has more nutrients.”

Turning to local food can save schools money in the long run. In California’s San Joaquin Valley, Scott Soiseth has managed to make school lunch popular enough that it’s become a money-making operation. It’s important to note that California provides more money for school lunches than many other states, but for most schools in California that doesn’t translate to radically better lunches or profitability. Soiseth is proof that local food can strengthen the bottom line.

If reforms go forward, someday the disgusting school lunch — that constant in American life — might actually vanish. Maybe, just maybe, we could be a little more like the French. If that happens, you can expect the same people protesting school lunches now to begin lamenting the loss of mystery meat, and “hot dish” under the hashtag #FreedomLunches.

‘All Indians Are Dead?’ At Least That’s What Most Schools Teach Children



Alysa Landry, Indian Country Today


It’s time to break out the construction paper and synthetic feathers.

Students in schools across the country this month will learn about the first Thanksgiving, perpetuating a fairy tale about struggling pilgrims and the friendly Indians who shared a harvest banquet. This usually follows Columbus Day instruction that is similarly celebratory.

But for the vast majority of elementary and secondary students, lessons like these may be the only time they learn about American Indians at all. A staggering 87 percent of references to American Indians in all 50 states’ academic standards portray them in a pre-1900 context.

That means students are graduating from high school without even basic knowledge of contemporary Native challenges or culture, said Sarah Shear, associate professor of social studies education at Pennsylvania State University in Altoona. Shear, who this year earned a PhD in learning, teaching and curriculum from the University of Missouri, spent two years examining state-mandated U.S. history standards, coding each state six times in an effort to understand what students are learning about Natives.

The project began when Shear was teaching an undergraduate class in multi-cultural education. When she asked what students knew about America’s indigenous people, hands shot into the air.

“What they told me is that they learned about Thanksgiving and Columbus Day,” she said. “Every once in a while a student would mention something about the Trail of Tears. It was incredibly frustrating. They were coming to college believing that all Indians are dead.”

Shear partnered with other researchers to analyze states’ academic standards, lengthy documents that dictate what topics teachers should emphasize, including names of important people, dates, events and concepts. Textbook authors often tailor materials to meet those standards.

The study revealed a shameful lack of meaningful Native content, Shear said.

“All of the states are teaching that there were civil ways to end problems and that the Indian problem was dealt with nicely,” she said. “They’re teaching that this is what needed to happen in order for the United States to become the United States. The conflict had to be dealt with in order to manifest destiny. The relationship with Indians was a means to an end.”

The study also revealed that all 50 states lack any content about current Native events or challenges.

“Nothing about treaties, land rights, water rights,” Shear said. “Nothing about the fact that tribes are still fighting to be recognized and determine sovereignty.”

In some states, politics plays a huge role in determining academic standards, Shear said. Politicians, not educators, decide the “grand story” that teachers will tell students. In other states, standards may be simply—and shockingly—out of date. Either way, Shear said, the effect is a white-washing of history, a focus on the Euro-American story that is so narrow there’s no room for an indigenous narrative.

While state standards highlight topics that must be covered in the classroom, teachers still have leeway to tailor lessons or add content, said Tony Castro, assistant professor of social studies education at the University of Missouri. Castro, who served as a faculty assistant to Shear’s research project, said he was disappointed with the findings.

RELATED: 7 Things Teachers Need to Know About Native American Heritage Month

RELATED: Native American Heritage Month Resources for Teachers

“This kind of curriculum, these misconceptions, all that has led to the invisibilization of indigenous people,” he said. “What we teach acts as a mirror to what we value and what we recognize as legitimate. These standards are perpetuating a misconception and are continuing to marginalize groups of people and minimize the concerns or issues those people have about being full citizens in the American democracy.”

Shear’s research is being published in an upcoming issue of Theory & Research in Social Education. Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of her findings:

Across all the states, 87 percent of references to Natives portray them prior to 1900, with no clear vision of what happened after that.

In half of the states, no individual Natives or specific tribes are named.

Of the Natives named in standards, the most common are Sacagawea, Squanto, Sequoyah and Sitting Bill.

Only 62 Native nations are named in standards; most are mentioned by only one state. One nation, the Iroquois, is mentioned in six states.

Only four states—Arizona, Washington, Oklahoma and Kansas—include content about Indian boarding schools.

New Mexico is the only state to mention, by name, a member of the American Indian Movement.

Washington is the only state to use the word “genocide” in relation to Natives. That word is used in the standards for fifth grade U.S. history.

Nebraska textbooks portray Natives as lazy, drunk or criminal.

Ninety-percent of all manuscripts written about Native people are authored by non-Native writers.



Student arrested after bringing firebomb to Seattle school


The Center School was evacuated after a 16-year-old brought a Molotov cocktail to school, the Seattle School District said.
The Center School was evacuated after a 16-year-old brought a Molotov cocktail to school, the Seattle School District said.


KIRO 7 News


SEATTLE — Seattle police said a 16-year-old is in custody after bringing an incendiary device to school.

The boy brought was is known as a “Molotov cocktail” to the Center School, located in the Seattle Center’s Center House, according to the Seattle School District.

Other students reported it to staff and the school has been evacuated as a precaution.

Officers posted a message about the incident on their Twitter account Monday at about 9:30 a.m.

No one was hurt.

Seattle police and Seattle fire are investigating.

School shooter raised in Tulalip traditions; his actions defy explanation

Jaylen Fryberg performs in his dance regalia during the Paddle to Squaxin Island, August 2012. Courtesy photo
Jaylen Fryberg performs in his dance regalia during the Paddle to Squaxin Island, August 2012.
Courtesy photo


By Andrew Gobin, Herald Writer

Herald writer Andrew Gobin is a member of the Tulalip Tribes and grew up on the reservation.


TULALIP — What do you say about a young man whose actions forever changed the lives of so many? You can seek rhyme and reason, you can analyze his troubles, you can gaze into the abyss of disbelief.

This is not about gun control, this is not about how a community failed a young man, and it’s not about using his troubles to solve everyone’s problems.

Strangers are telling Jaylen Fryberg’s story. Strangers who never met him.

What do you say about a boy? You say who he was.

Jaylen Fryberg came from a large, influential family on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. His grandfather, Ray Fryberg Sr., sat on the tribal council and is the director of Cultural and Natural Resources for the tribes. His grandmother, Sheryl Fryberg, was an executive with the tribes for many years, most recently the general manager of tribal government operations. His father, Ray Fryberg Jr., also works in Natural Resources for the tribes. His mother, Wendy Fryberg, a former Marysville School Board member, is deputy general manager for tribal government operations. He has two sisters, Tenika Fryberg and Mekyla Fryberg, and two brothers, Anthony Gobin and Julian Fryberg.

Jaylen was grounded in the traditions of the Snohomish people, his people, on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. He was a star wrestling and football athlete since he was young, competing with his cousins. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, from a place where rites of passage include those skills.

Jaylen came from a traditional family with a strong presence not only at Tulalip, but with tribes up and down the Pacific Northwest coast. He sang and drummed with the men of his family, learning to lead the group at a young age. His father and grandfather were dedicated to grooming Jaylen to be a strong leader, like so many of his elders.

His great-grandmother, Della Hill, was a strong spiritual leader in the Shaker faith throughout Northwest reservations. That was a path Jaylen and others in his family followed.

As he grew, Jaylen learned to revere traditional dances, earning his dance shirt and feather headdress. The shirt is embroidered across the chest and along the sleeves with small paddles hand-carved from cedar. The paddles clacked as he danced. The shirt and headdress were presented to him by tribal elders who chose him to be a lead dancer. Along with these came the responsibility to carry on tribal traditions. He wore the dance shirt and headdress often, at tribal ceremonies and the annual Canoe Journey, a summertime celebration of cultural heritage.

From the time Jaylen was 5 or 6, he was involved in sports. He wrestled on the tribe’s team and played football on city and school teams, including this year as a freshman with the MPHS Tomahawks. His teammates, often cousins and friends, were closer to him than brothers. Jaylen always made time for them.

He learned to fish for salmon using gill nets with his father and grandfather. Many Tulalip families are fishing families.

Throughout the fall and winter, Jaylen was an avid hunter. He hunted deer and elk with his dad and brother, never failing to bring an animal home. He hunted for many reasons, including to feed families in their times of sorrow. Tulalip people find comfort and connection to each other in sharing traditional foods

At 14, Jaylen started high school at Marysville Pilchuck. He seemed to have it all. He was in a long-term relationship with a great girl, was part of a strong family, pulled down good grades and was on the football team. High school can be stressful, but he seemed to be handling things well enough. The truth is, no one saw this coming. A few outbursts on social media, a few scuffles, normal freshman angst that came with normal consequences. After Friday’s events, we are left with questions that may never be answered.

Jaylen got in a fight and was suspended from the football team just before a crucial game. Two of the boys he shot — Andrew Fryberg and Nate Hatch — were his cousins and also on the football team. Were they targeted because they would play in the championship game that night? We don’t know.

He had separated from his girlfriend, and it is speculated that caused an argument. Contrary to many news reports, his girlfriend did not attend Marysville Pilchuck. She was not among those shot.

And there is talk of bullying. All six of the students involved were close. They grew up together. They competed together. They went to homecoming together only a week before.

Did they tease each other? Of course. That’s what cousins are for.

We know Jaylen became troubled. Why is not clear.

What he did in that cafeteria was monstrous.

His uncle, John Dumonte, told TV reporters, though, that Jaylen wasn’t a monster.

As someone who walked with him in this community, who knew him from the time he was small, I understand that sentiment.

Culture and tradition can fall away. Not for Jaylen. He was viewed as living hope for the tribes’ future.

Now he is gone.

The shaken community on both sides of I-5 now must put the pieces together, to help each other learn how to heal from this, to understand why.

USDA Announces $5.7 Million in Training Grants and other New Resources to Help Schools Serve Healthier Meals and Snacks

Source: USDA

WASHINGTON, August 21, 2014 – Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today announced additional tools to help schools serve healthier meals and snacks as students return for the new school year.

The announcement includes $5.7 million in Team Nutrition grants to state agencies administering the National School Lunch and Child and Adult Care Food Programs. The grants will help states expand and enhance training programs that help schools encourage kids to make healthy choices. Several states will use the grants to increase the number of schools implementing Smarter Lunchroom strategies, which are methods for encouraging kids to choose healthy foods that were developed by child nutrition experts. Research has shown these strategies successfully lead to healthier choices among students. USDA is also funding 2,500 toolkits to provide school districts with the resources they need to take advantage of research on Smarter Lunchroom strategies.

In addition, USDA is re-launching the HealthierUS School Challenge, a voluntary program which provides financial awards to schools that choose to take steps to encourage kids to make healthy choices and be more physically active. All schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program have the option to participate in HUSSC. Schools earning HUSSC designation receive a financial award, ranging from $500 to $2,000, based on the level of achievement.

“We’re committed to supporting schools who want to ensure students head back to a healthier school environment this fall,” said Concannon. “Parents, teachers, and school nutrition professionals want the best for their children, and want to provide them with proper nutrition so that they can learn and grow into healthy adults. USDA is proud to support the Smarter Lunchroom movement that provides schools with practical, evidence-based tools that they can use to help their students have a healthier school day.”

Smarter Lunchrooms, developed by the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (BEN) Center and funded in part by the USDA, is a set of best practices that have been shown to help encourage kids to make healthy choices. By using environmental cues such as better product placement and using creative names for healthier foods, these practical, research-based techniques increase student selection of healthier items and reduce plate waste. By changing the display and placement of fruit, for example, the researchers saw a doubling of sales. Similarly, creative naming and display of vegetables increased selection by 40 to 70 percent. Concannon said the Smarter Lunchroom strategies are also being incorporated into the criteria for HealthierUS School Challenge.

The new support for schools announced today builds on a number of resources that USDA has provided to help schools provide students with healthier food options, including technical assistance, resource materials, and $522 million in grants and additional reimbursements. More than 90 percent of schools report that they are successfully meeting those nutrition standards, which were based on recommendations from pediatricians and other child health experts at the Institute of Medicine. Research has shown that a majority of students like the healthier meals and that the standards have successfully increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. New Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards implemented this school year will offer students more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, leaner protein, lower-fat dairy – while decreasing foods with excessive amounts of added sugar, solid fats, and sodium.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs. In addition to NSLP and SBP, these programs include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Summer Food Service Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) which together comprise America’s nutrition safety net. For more information, visit