Help our kids l Council Corner

By Mukilteo City Councilmember Anna Rohrbough | Mar 28, 2018

These past few weeks with the Peace Park discussion I have begun to publicly ask the question in regards to our youth “What are we missing?”

In return I have received an outpouring of concern, support and questions from many sides.

I have been asked why I am speaking up and also have been told it isn’t my role as a Mukilteo City Councilmember.

The truth is I believe it is our responsibility as leaders to find out the truth. It is also our fundamental responsibility to represent our community as a whole. Not just the seniors in our community, the parents and other working adults, it is our responsibility as city leaders to represent and speak up for our youth.

What some might not know is that our kids’ voices have been silenced. Silenced from a choice they had to make to either shut up or pay the consequence.

The truth is everyone makes mistakes, kids, parents, teachers and administrators. But when you see a pattern of abuse of power you can put a name to it and it’s called “bullying.”

But the sad thing is, it is coming from some of the adults that were chosen to lead our kids. It has been institutionalized from those that lead our kids.

Using the future the kids desire for as leverage to protect themselves against their own bad behavior.

Those that look to their parents for help quickly learn and adapt saying, “Everything is OK” when asked, “How are things?” because they learn the risk versus reward of being singled out by their teachers and coaches in front of their peers for being the kids who went to “mommy and daddy” for help.

Further disengaging and separating kids not only from their peers, but from their parents as well. Just when they need them the most.

Over and over I hear that these kids feel alone, disempowered and invalidated. They feel they have no choice.

The kids are screaming at us, telling us with their actions and their silence. They are begging us to see, to hear and to help.

Our kids don’t wonder why we have a high rate of suicide and attempts. Why don’t our kids wonder why?

Do you know our kids were not surprised to hear that we (Kamiak) were one of two high schools considered for a shooting before that grandma foiled the plans? Do you not wonder why they weren’t surprised?

There needs to be consequences not just for our kids, who are supposed to make mistakes, but for those few adults in power that get away with their bad behavior and continue to do damage to the whole.

Give the good teachers and the good coaches a chance to make a difference. The truth is adults in power need consequences too.

When there is no consequence for the few, it affects the culture of the whole.

Since I started asking the questions I was surprised by the response I had from parents of past graduates.

After hearing about my questions, several reached out to me to share their new realization.

One told me she was telling her now adult son how wrong I must be to question these things and in return he said, “Mom, it took me 10 years to recover - she is not wrong.”

You can’t change a culture that doesn’t want to change.

Our kids are begging us to help them make a change.


Comments (1)
Posted by: Joe Kunzler | Mar 28, 2018 12:32

Thanks for having the courage to speak out.

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