Students at Veterans Memorial High School are leading the charge to make their campus safer. School shootings and large-scale attack are certainly on their radar. but they’re also concerned about personal safety.
That’s why the Student Safety Forum at the school, with the help of administration, organized a self-defense class at the campus on Wednesday afternoon.
One of the dozens of students who attended was senior Maddie Williams, who says she wanted to learn those tools so she wouldn’t be helpless on her own. As she tells KRIS 6 News, "It’s a fear of mine going off to college that something will happen to me that I’m not prepared for and that I won’t actually have the knowledge to defend myself against."
Kevin Roberts from Life Martial Arts says that’s a big reason why he teaches these classes.
"In our day and age and in our culture, self-defense is a very important subject, no matter if you’re in elementary school, middle school or high school," Roberts says. "But especially for our young adults in high school fixing to enter the workforce, go off to college, self-defense and awareness especially is very important for their safety — to keep them out of troubles that they are not aware of before taking these types of self-defense programs."
Dozens of Veterans Memorial HS students who turned out to soak up the knowledge. The class covered the topics of stand-up self-defense, ground self-defense, weapons self-defense, along with safe dating.
Some students wanted to learn the best ways to keep themselves safe, if a tense situations quickly escalates.
Sophomore Cameron Talavera says, "It goes from messing around in a group and sometimes you get serious and it happens pretty fast. So, I wanted to know what to do if that ever happened, if I was in a dangerous situation."
The students say the hands-on teaching will not only help them. They’re eager to pass along the knowledge to others so they can better protect themselves.
"I have a younger sister at home so maybe I can tell her some of these techniques," said Noe Diaz III, a junior at Veterans Memorial.
Roberts says the school hopes to host more of the self-defense classes in the future. For now, the Student Safety Forum is also working on a project to provide one emergency backpack for each classroom on campus. It would include gloves, a crowbar, first aid essentials and more. You can learn more about the backpacks and donate by clicking here.