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.

Art project teaches youth about domestic violence

Heritage High School students are using art and social media to learn about domestic abuse and how to prevent it.  Photo\Brandi N. Montreuil
Heritage High School students are using art and social media to learn about domestic abuse and how to prevent it. Photo\Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News


By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – Every October the nation is splashed with a dose of bright pink, as result of a national campaign to bring attention to breast cancer. This campaign has resulted in an increased number of early detection screenings and a decrease in death rates since 1989. Since 1987, purple ribbons have begun to be associated with the month as well, as a result of the domestic violence awareness and education campaign. Both campaigns have resulted in successful lifesaving education. However, incidents of domestic violence are still at epidemic proportions.

To bring awareness to the dangers of intimate partner violence happening in her community, Heritage High School art teacher Cerissa Gobin, decided to use the platform of the popular social media trend ‘women crush Wednesdays,’ to educate and engage students about the dangers of domestic violence and teen-dating violence.  Instead of picking a women who is admired for beauty as the crush of the day, Gobin is asking students to think about Native women who are missing or murdered as a result of intimate partner violence.

“In the spirit of ‘women crush Wednesday,’ I wanted the class to do some research on the missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. It really is an issue that affects all us women around the world, because we, as Native women, are the ones that are the least represented and the ones that are highly victimized,” said Gobin, who is also a Tulalip tribal member.

As part of the in-class project, students are researching the current statistics of aboriginal women murdered and missing in Canada, along with the current statistics of domestic violence in Indian country. Students are also learning about dating violence experienced in their own age group. Students will then use the research they have completed to create a piece using art mediums such as poetry, multi-media, sculpture, photography, painting, drawing, or sculpture. The project will need to include statistics and what the student has learned.


Tulalip Tribes Councilwoman Deborah Parker spoke to the students about putting an end to abuse.
Tulalip Tribes Councilwoman Deborah Parker spoke to the students about putting an end to abuse. Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News



In support of the student project, Tulalip Tribes Councilwoman Deborah Parker gave a special presentation about her work in educating the public about the plight of First Nations women and her work regarding Violence Against Women Act.

“It is not an easy conversation that our fathers or even mothers have had with our young men,” said Parker, to a dozen male and female students during her presentation on September 25. “How do we treat our women? Sometimes we see how our dad treated our mom and that is the way we treat our partners, or how our moms treated our dads, because domestic violence can go both ways. We have broken systems here in Tulalip, but also throughout our indigenous communities. It is a difficult issue to talk about. Nobody wants to talk about sexual assault and physical abuse.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “on average, nearly 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States.” These statistics mean that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience some form of domestic violence from their intimate partner, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality.

In Indian country the statistics are even more alarming. According to a 2008 Centers for Disease Control study, “39 percent of Native women in the U.S. identified as victims of intimate partner violence in their lifetime, a rate higher than any other race of ethnicity surveyed.” The report also points out that most crimes go unreported due to a belief that nothing will be done.

According to the CDC teen-dating violence is defined as, “physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship, as well as stalking.” The CDC also states that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men in high school reported experiencing abuse from their partner while dating. And “many teens do not report abuse because they are afraid to tell friends or family. Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name calling are a ‘normal’ part of a relationship.”

Although many school districts, including the Marysville School District, have a zero tolerance policy towards bullying in any form, many incidents of dating violence that happen within school boundaries are never reported.

“It is not only my goal, but the goal of the Tulalip Board of Directors and the goal of our Tribe, that we stop this type of abuse. We stop the madness and we stop putting down each other, whether you are male or female. To our men, if you think this issue is not about you, it is absolutely about you. Part of your role historically as Native men is to promote our women. It is not to harm. It is not to hurt, to disregard, but to uphold our women,” said Parker.

“I don’t want to see our kids bullied. I don’t want to see our young kids raped and abused. People ask me why I am so passionate about this, it is because I was one of those kids. I was one of those kids who were abused. You are the heartbeat of our nation. You are the heartbeat of our people. I don’t want you to walk away from here today feeling disempowered. You are never alone. We stand together,” said Parker.

For more information about teen-dating violence, please visit the website If you feel you may be a victim of domestic violence or have questions, please contact the 24/7 hotline at 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522. You may also contact the Tulalip Legacy of Healing Advocacy Center & Safe House at 360-716-4100.


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402:

New app to help parents prevent bullying

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Photo/ SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
Photo/ SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

Parents are receiving a new resource tool this school season with a smartphone app called “Knowbullying.” The free app, available for Android and iPhone, and created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in conjunction with Federal partnership, is being touted as an app to help parents and others prevent bullying.

This might interest Washington parents and educators as the state is ranked number five in the nation with the highest number of bullying incidents, according to a June 2013 report from

As students across the nation finish their first week of school, bullying may not be a large concern until it happens. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states, “close to half of all children will experience school bullying at some point while they are at primary or secondary school.” In 2010, 71 percent of students reported bullying as an on-going problem. Grades 4 through 8 were reported as the years with the highest bullying incidents, with 90 percent of students experiencing some form of bullying.

Bullying can happen through a variety of mediums such as social media, known as cyber bullying, verbal abuse and intimidation, text messages and physical abuse. Knowing the signs of bullying can help prevent further acts of bullying that can lead to lasting physical and emotional impacts.

“KnowBullying” provides parents and educators the tools they need to engage youth in conversations about bullying. Through the app, you are provided conversation starters, tips and learning strategies to prevent bullying for ages 3-6, 7-13 years, and teens. The app also provides warning signs to recognize if your child is engaging in bullying, being bullied, or witnessing bullying, and connects you to social media within the app where you can share successful strategies and find useful advice via Facebook, Twitter, email, and text messages.

“The KnowBullying app empowers parents and caregivers by placing resources they need right in their hands to help prevent bullying,” explains Paolo del Vecchio, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services, in a press release on the apps official release. “This needs to be part of a community-wide effort to help protect our children from the unnecessary harm, and in some cases, devastating long-term consequences of bullying.”

You can download “KnowBullying” for free from the Android Play store and iTunes for iPhone. For more information about bullying or how to prevent it, please visit the website


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402:

Kathleen Sebelius: New Initiatives To End Bullying

bullyingSource: Indian Country Today Media Network

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released the following statement about new initiatives to end bullying in schools across the country.

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month—when individuals, families, schools and communities across the nation help to raise awareness about bullying prevention. Bullying remains a widespread problem with nearly 30 percent of adolescents in the U.S. reporting some experience with bullying, whether as the victim, the bully or both. An infographic developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration highlights important facts and information about bullying prevention. We know that there are a number of emotional effects that can result from bullying such as depression and anxiety. There are also physical effects as well, like headaches and stomachaches, and sleep problems. In a special supplement of the Journal of Adolescent Health supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, we see how researchers continue to investigate the complex relationship between bullying and suicide.

But help is available. I am very pleased to highlight a number of exciting activities and initiatives that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be launching during Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

Media Guidelines for Bullying Prevention

Media coverage of social issues can have a widespread impact on how communities understand and address problems. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has developed media guidelines conveniently located in the newsroom of This guidance offers help to journalists, bloggers, and others to engage in responsible reporting on this important topic.


Later this month, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will release a mobile app for parents to help start conversations with their children about bullying. This app will be available for both Android and Apple platforms.

Bullying Prevention Training Center

This revamped section of provides a one-stop-shop for training materials for educators and community leaders. These new materials, developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration, will be available in late October in our training section on

Successful bullying prevention can’t happen alone! We work closely with the Departments of Education, Justice, and Agriculture, and others, through the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention; including supporting, which continues to be an excellent resource for bullying prevention information.

We are collaborating with these offices to support youth engagement. Across the country, youth are encouraged to talk about bullying by organizing bullying prevention social and educational events through youth organizations in their communities. Youth can report back on these activities through our Tumblr page.

The Department of Education has issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague letter that provides an overview of school districts’ responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to address bullying of students with disabilities.

With all of these resources available, it’s a great time to consider how you can help raise awareness about bullying and take action to stop it. Find out the latest policies and laws that are in your state. Teens can find inspiration by visiting our Tumblr site. Tell us what you are going to do by engaging on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And follow along with Bullying Prevention Awareness Month Activities at #StopBullying13.