Prevention key to battling bullying


Bennett Elementary’s psychologist Sarah Slatt is an advocate for prevention. More specifically, the prevention of bullying in Bellevue schools.
New data released by the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program claimed 17 percent of American students report being bullied two to three times a month or more within a school semester.
Slatt is convinced that prevention is the key to ending school bullying.
Partnering with Youth Eastside Services (YES), the five year veteran was the first Bellevue school counselor to leap at the chance for the local nonprofit to lead an in-school, anti-bullying workshop for students called PEACE Ambassadors.
As it stands, anti-bullying awareness and lesson plans are left up to each school in the Bellevue district to implement as they see fit.
Slatt wanted to take a proactive approach this year so she connected with YES.
“The students know me around here as the one who comes into the classroom every year to talk about bullying,” she explained. “I was looking for a new program that would kind of spice things up and get the kids interested and involved in learning about the importance of anti-bullying.”
Excited to have the local organization implement the new program at her school, she corresponded with YES Violence Prevention Counselor Danny Hanson to begin the two-part, peer educator workshop training at Bennett.
Twenty-nine students signed up to become PEACE peer educators, a role that not only encourages investment in their school, but also helps to build solid communication and positive life skills.
The new PEACE program is mirrored closely after the successful high school program run by YES called RESPECT.
“We have seen such positive results with RESPECT at the high schools, we had the idea of introducing a similar program to younger students,” Hanson said. “The earlier we can inform, educate and install preventive measure in the case of bullying, the better.”
Hanson led two training sessions, helping students define bullying and address why it happens and how to stop it. Following the completion of the training sessions, the student ambassadors will then go into the classrooms of the younger grades and lead mini-workshops, sharing what they have learned.
“All statistics about anti-bullying prevention shows that peer educators have a much higher rate of getting through to their peers then adults do,” he added.
Each student will receive an official PEACE Ambassador card to carry around as a reminder of their training and commitment to speak out against bullying.

To learn more about the PEACE program or violence prevention services from YES, call Danny Hanson at 425-586-2830 or e-mail

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok/Pexels
Bellevue reopens aquatic center

Swimmers must make reservations for pool use

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Inslee mask graphic
Free mask event for King County residents, Aug. 4 in Bellevue

The drive-thru distribution event will offer two masks per person

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Sex ed, local control at heart of race for WA state schools chief

Incumbent Chris Reykdal faces five foes who argue he’s pushing too many state policies on school districts.

Screenshot of the 2020 Bellevue Downtown Association State of the City. Pictured: Mayor Lynne Robinson, Deputy Mayor Jared Nieuwenhuis and BDA President Patrick Bannon.
City leaders talk economic outlook, police reform and more with Bellevue Downtown Association

The annual State of the City with the BDA was held as a virtual fireside chat, livestreamed Thursday, July 30

County Fire Marshal issues burn ban

Dry conditions and high heats are in the forecast this week

Most Read