The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

Self-Defense is a Right. Let’s Make It Mandatory To Learn.

Tech. Sgt. Ivan Abudo, 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron, teaches a self-defense class to attendees at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia April 12, 2012. The self-defense class was held as a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)

As my friend and I walk down the streets of Salem, we find ourselves looking around, cautious about our safety.  Who would protect both of us if we were met with someone who had bad intentions? Unfortunately, these concerns are not unwarranted. 

According to the FBI — Crime Clock, a violent crime occurs every 26.3 seconds, a murder is committed every 32.1 minutes, and rape takes place every 3.8 minutes in the US.  

People should be prepared to protect themselves, which is why high school students should required to take self-defense classes.

The website explains Self-Defense is a forceful/violent way to protect yourself and or a third person from harm.

As a student soon to graduate High School, I’m disappointed I didn’t have a class that taught me how to protect myself. I feel overwhelmed and unprepared for this new responsibility. Math, English, History, and Science are all important, but they cannot protect me from danger. 

Michelle Lawing, the civilian victim advocate on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, and Angelica Mora, a military spouse, practice basic self-defense techniques April 24, at the Desert View Community Center on base. Juan Rivera, the information technology officer on base and co-owner of a local mixed martial arts dojo, along with his brother Jose Rivera, held the self-defense class for spouses on base.

According to, in college, one out of five women and one out of sixteen men are sexually assaulted before they graduate.

Safety is a concern not only for students but also for their parents. They send their kids to college with no knowledge of how to protect themselves. Parents are never at ease while their kids are away at school.

As a child, I never worried about what would happen to me because I grew up in a safe community. I was shielded from reality by my parents. However, I was scared when I realized that I would be going to college and living in a different state without protection.

Teaching self-defense classes in High School would ensure students know how to protect themselves with only their hands.  It would give them a sense of confidence away from home. 

Self-defense classes can’t come too late.  In Self-Defense Success Stories, one survivor of assault,  Janice, talks about how she fell asleep and woke to a man standing at the side of her bed. She escaped and got him arrested, but she suffered from PTSD. To manage the PTSD, she got into a class that taught her how to protect herself. This helped with her stress and overall mental health. 

Some may believe that having a self-defense class in schools encourages violence or leads to a false sense of security. However, self-defense is a valuable mechanism that isn’t meant for violence unless a student or adult is being attacked, kidnapped, or sexually assaulted.

Students should feel a sense of safety when walking in town, on campus, etc. By adding self-defense into school electives, students can protect themselves, their friends, and their families.

Reach out to your local school administration and school boards and encourage them to add a mandatory self-defense class as a graduation requirement. 

While hopefully, most people will never need to use self-defense,  there is no harm in knowing how to protect yourself.

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About the Contributor
Capria Cole is a senior at HWRHS and loves writing/learning about different peoples experiences, which makes journalism a perfect fit for her. She takes part in school activities like volleyball and basketball. She is very much into running; therefore, she will be running the Boston Marathon for Brookline Center for Community Mental health. In her free time she is passionate about attending church and enjoys hanging out with her friends.

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