The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Self-Defense class needs greater participation to succeed

For every 1,000 women attending a college or university, there are about 35 incidents of rape each academic year, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC).

With a student body of nearly 2,700, about 1,350 are women. According the NSVRC, about 48 of the female students in our school could be raped in college if the statistic continues to this extent. Preventing such tragedies can begin at South if students enroll in the P.E. class, Self-Defense, and take it seriously.

The Oracle Editorial Board believes South students should utilize the opportunity of the Self-Defense class because the introduction of a rape-defense skill set can tremendously change your future if you encounter such a situation.

The semester-long self-defense curriculum includes punches, blocks and learning how to escape from chokeholds, among other hands-on skills. Students also learn how to appear less vulnerable to attackers by walking down the street with confidence, adopting a keen sense of awareness in public and firmly responding to possible threats.

According to Steve Stanicek, Self-Defense teacher and Physical Education instructional supervisor, the underclassmen’s self-defense gym unit was created to introduce “basic personal defense, how to evaluate the [attacker] you’re dealing with and yourself and angles of attack.”

Although an introductory unit will increase awareness in the importance of self-defense, we, along with Thomas Mietus, self-defense teacher, and Stanicek, believe the mastery of this important skill-set only happens with repetition, something that can begin in the upperclassmen Self-Defense class.

“For physical self-defense to be effective, you have to practice a lot; it has to be instinctive, so as soon as you feel something on you, you’re already in the process of escaping because in reality, if you take a 210 lb. man[…] and [he grabs] a 110 lb. girl, she’s not getting away unless she knows exactly what she’s going to do right at that moment,” Stanicek said.

Junior Saadia Malik took the Self-Defense class first semester and would have preferred to have learned a wider range of skills, but she recognizes that that approach would only be effective if students are more dedicated.

“Everyone should take it, but they really have to want to learn,” Malik said. “It’s not like other gym classes. […] There is a curriculum to cover, so it’s important you want to be there.”

Based on the fact that only eight out of the 96 students who enrolled in the class are male, the Editorial Board encourages more boys to take the class for their own benefit as well as for a broader cause. Not only would the course help males gain further insight on how to defend themselves in a dangerous situation, but a larger male enrollment would also allow females to practice against the speed, strength and size of what they could face in the future.

Though we understand students may be unable to take the class or may be uninterested, we want to remind students that in a matter of four years or less, many South students will enter a college environment where unfortunate instances of assault and rape are more prevalent, according the NSVRC. For this reason, we encourage more students to take the class, and upperclassmen should realize that the skills they can potentially learn in this class are in a much different category than learning how to spike a volleyball or play Pickleball.

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