Stranger Danger!

RadKIDS programs comes to a close


Alieja Elliot demonstrates his escape planAndrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Alieja Elliot demonstrates his escape plan
Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Article and photos by Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Students run from the big man in a bright red suit. No, it isn’t Santa Clause, it’s a stranger. Students of the radKIDS program at Tulalip Quil Ceda Elementary graduated on December 16th, taking turns displaying their defensive skills on Tulalip Police Officer Clayton Horne who wore a bright red padded suit.

The radKIDS program is an eight session program that teaches kids all about stranger danger as well as what to do about bullies. For the first part of the graduation, program instructors Rochelle Lubbers and Razi Liptich had the students circled up in the gymnasium shouting “STOP!” or “NO!” while reviewing their defensive moves like elbowing, toe stomping, kneeing, and kicking.

As the teachers wrapped up the review and explained to parents about the program, the kids suited up in minor padding.

“RadKIDS has gained attention nationally, being noted in several attempted abductions where the child was able to escape,” said Rochelle Lubbers, emergency management coordinator for the Tulalip Tribes.

For the final part of their graduation they were approached by officer Horne in the red suit as he tried to abduct them. The students had to choose their defensive move, then escape to tell an adult.

Grace Davis, now a radKIDS graduate, said, “I liked the program. I learned how to get away and how to tell if someone is a threat.”

Grace Davis.Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Grace Davis.
Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Students fingerprinted their certificates as they received them, which also had a recent photo printed on them. The certificates are now important profiles for authorities, making children easily identifiable. If anything were to happen to a child, the parents would be readily prepared with recent information to give to the authorities.

Tulalip elementary students graduate from self-defense class

By Kim Kalliber and Jeannie Briones; photos by Jeannie Briones

Students, instructors and Tulalip police officers celebrate the 21 radKIDS graduates.

Students, instructors and Tulalip police officers celebrate the 21 radKIDS graduates.

Empowerment, self-esteem and safety skills – these are a few of the core values of the radKIDS program and 21 proud radKIDS graduates are now armed with these important life skills.  Tulalip police officers, instructors and

Tribal member Nakoyia Fryberg and Tulalip Police Officer Mark Nelson.

Tribal member Nakoyia Fryberg and Tulalip Police Officer Mark Nelson.

students celebrated the graduation at Quil Ceda & Tulalip Elementary School on March 26.

RadKIDS, which has been in operation at Quil Ceda & Tulalip Elementary for two years, is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to providing effective lifesaving skills to children. Through this program, kids become empowered to recognize and avoid dangerous situations, and to replace the fear and confusion they may feel in these situations with confidence and self-defense skills.

“There is no other program like it for safety. Students benefit from learning about safety, like being safe from a bully, staying away from drugs and alcohol and keeping safe from someone who’s trying to harm them,” said Rochelle Lubbers, Tulalip Police Department Emergency Services Manager and radKIDS Instructor.

During the graduation, students received a certificate and got to demonstrate their newly acquired self-defense skills against the “redman.” Tulalip police officer Mark Nelson wore the padded red suit to protect himself from the kids slick moves like shin kicks, toe kicks and knee kicks.

This training includes kids and their parents creating a password. A password is a word that is used as a safety check should a parent need to send another adult to pick up a child from school, sports, etc. The purpose of the password is to protect your child from going with someone under false pretenses. When approached by a stranger, the child will ask for a password, if the stranger does not know the password, the child is then taught to run away or seek help.

“We can get away from who tries to take us. It feels good to be safe,” said Nakoyia Fryberg, radKIDS graduate and Tulalip tribal member.

To learn more about the radKIDS program visit