HOUSTON — Girls and boys gathered in the Hardin-Houston Local School gym Monday and Tuesday this week to get thinking.
“We’re teaching basic basic self-defense. We want them thinking on how to get out of situations,” Kyle Gee, a Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy, and teacher of the class, said. “We just want the students to start thinking.”
In conjunction with the school’s physical education classes, the Houston-UVCC FFA, hosted the two-day event to prepare the students.
“At our (Houston FFA) summer meeting, as we were planning events for this year, the students wanted something that would provide self-defense or safety training,” FFA Adviser Derek McCracken said. “With the big change that happens when they leave Houston, we thought, ‘What is a way we can provide safety?’”
The FFA got together with the physical education classes, and the sheriff’s office to help put the event together. The girls gym classes, grades seven to 12, did the class on Monday, and the boys gym glasses, grades nine to 12, did the class on Tuesday. All the FFA members participated in the classes as well.
“We teach the boys and girls the exact same thing,” Gee said. “Sure it’s thought that women get attacked more and need to know more, but we want these students to get the same stuff out of the class.”
Gee taught the students to think about not getting themselves in certain situations, like walking down dark ally’s or simply walking alone, and to visualize “what’s an out?”
“It’s not just students walking alone on college campuses, it’s, for example, nurses walking to their cars late at night, or dealing with combative patients,” McCraken said.
Gee taught the students about projecting their voices, because sometimes by being loud and sounding confident you can scare an attacker away. He taught them how to raise their hands up in a defense mode.
He then had the students practice several different maneuvers to escape an attacker. Some of them involved pushing the attacker away and some of them involved grabbing their wrist and pushing them to the ground.
“I was amazed at how easy it was to put someone on their knees,” Junior FFA Member Dexter Ingle said. “I think learning (self-defense) helps everyone out because of the people in the world today.”
McCracken helped with the class on Tuesday, and PE Teacher Sandy Heitkamp helped out on Monday.
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