Several of Clinton High School’s graduating seniors are little more prepared for college thanks to the Clinton Police Department’s initiative to teach them self defense.
Police officer Colton Strouth, Clinton High School’s resource officer, organized self defense lessons for all of the school’s graduating females. The purpose of the classes was to prepare the girls for potential dangers as they enter into college or the workforce.
“Some of you might not think this can happen to you, but it can,” Strouth informed the girls. “We just want to make sure you are prepared.”
Serving as instructors for the classes was Clinton High School teacher and martial arts instructor Bill Negron and Judi Nicholson, who offered a similar class at the high school in the fall.
Negron and Nicholson enjoy training together and teaching self defense classes. They started the Clinton Chapter of the Mixed Martial Arts Club to teach the different styles of martial arts.
“We wanted to offer self defense lessons to all the young ladies before they go off to college,” Nicholson said. “You don’t take any chances and you make sure you are prepared.”
According to Nicholson, at least 75 percent of women will experience some type of sexual assault in their lifetime. As a way to prepare the young ladies graduating, Nicholson and Negron offered a few self-defense techniques.
Strouth and other members of the police department, including police chief Donald Edwards, took part in the classes, talking with the girls before Negron and Nicholson began the lessons.
“We want to teach you defenses that will get somebody off of you so that you can get somewhere safe,” Edwards said. “It may sound a little forward, but if someone is attacking you, you want to do what you can to get them off of you.”
While Edwards said he and his department weren’t trying to scare the young girls, they were trying to make sure they were prepared and had the skills and knowledge necessary to defend themselves in a situation where they were attacked.
“The best weapon you have is your brain,” Nicholson added.