RadKIDS programs comes to a close
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.”
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.