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Should Public Schools Teach Self Defense Techniques in Gym Class?

written by: Julia Bodeeb • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 8/2/2012

No matter how much we try to protect them, students live in a dangerous world. In recent years high school students have even been sexually assaulted by intruders right in the school building. It seems crucial that students should learn self defense strategies at school.

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    The Statistics Are Alarming

    Statistics from the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN) show that “one in 6 American females and 1 in 33 males will be raped or experience an attempted rape. Every two minutes in America someone is sexually assaulted.”

    This is a very unfortunate part of our society. Since the odds of rape and criminal attacks are so high in America, should public schools teach self defense strategies? It seems this would be a very good idea. The earlier children learn methods to protect themselves the safer they will be. Rape is a crime that impacts all ages. One does not have to be an adult to be raped; unfortunately too many children in America are raped or molested.

    If students learned self protection strategies in gym class they would be better equipped to handle an unexpected attack. In too many urban schools attacks occur in the school. Students may be assaulted by a gang, may be raped in an isolated part of the school, or may be injured when being mugged for their property or cash. Self defense classes in gym could help students know how to react when suddenly attacked.

    Too many schools are cutting physical education classes out of the curriculum. All schools should have gym class for students and all schools should teach self defense strategies to keep students safe.

    Too many schools have had predators enter the building intent on harming students. Sometimes it is a stranger from outside the building with evil intent and sometimes intruders are other students who wish to harm members of the school. Students need self defense training so they can protect themselves if they encounter a predator.

    In Colorado a man who did not belong in a school entered a classroom and sexually assaulted female students there. Schools are too often vulnerable to attack from predators as doors are left open and the buildings tend to be too wide open.

    It is important to help students be prepared to handle any crisis they may encounter. Schools should implement self defense classes for students at an early age so the self defense strategies come naturally to the students as something they have practiced from an early age.

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    Tips to Obtain Self Defense Classes in Schools

    • Call your local Board of Education. Ask them to add self defense classes to the K-12 curriculum.
    • You may also want to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the need for self defense training in public schools.
    • You could also start a petition and ask people in the town to sign it and then submit it to the Board of Education with a request to add self defense classes to the school curriculum.
    • Ask the local police department to contact the Board of Education to suggest the schools begin self defense classes.