The Student Newspaper of Suncoast High School

In Need of Defense

School’s should be teaching young women how to protect themselves.

March 28, 2021

    In recent years, there has been a rapid incline of violence spread across the country. Kidnappings, sexual assault cases and domestic violence increases more every year, and many of the targets are young women and children. So the question arises, whether or not schools should be required to teach self defense classes to children at a young age?

          Fear of being kidnapped can last a lifetime, and in 2019 the number of missing persons under the age of 21 was significantly higher than those aging 21 and over. There were 235,367 females under 21 reported missing, and 62,823 females over the age of 21 reported missing in 2019, as stated by the Statista Research Department. 

          Violence has increased so much that a video of a young girl getting kidnapped was posted on TikTok, bringing in thousands of comments expressing how for many women, this is their biggest fear. In the video, the girl is being dragged into an unmarked vehicle in broad daylight, however, the group of fast food workers recording the event did not do anything to help her get away from her kidnapper. The woman in the video is still missing today, as she was not strong enough to defend herself, and the group of female workers recording the scene were too frightened to help the young woman. Many women today do not know basic self defense skills, nor are told to carry any weapons in order to protect themselves in cases like these. 

          A comprehensive program of self defense classes can be implemented into the schools gym curriculum in order to teach women the best ways that they can defend themselves in case of an emergency. These classes can range from around $200 to $400 dollars per month, however, martial art classes can range from $75 to $150 per month.  

“The School Board has unanimously approved a budget of more than $3.8 billion for the 2020-2021 school year,” the Palm Beach School District Website said. With there being 23 high schools in Palm Beach County, the cost of hosting a month of martial arts classes for all high schools in total would amount to about $3,450 dollars. The school district budget increased 3 million dollars from 2019-2020 school year to the 2020-2021 school year because of COVID-19 relief. So the budget is likely to drop in 2021-2022 school year, leaving room for a martial arts class to be implemented into high school physical education curriculums. 

          “[Martial arts classes]  would promote safety to the students and preparation for the real world,” senior Leiani Fernandez said.

          Martial arts classes can either be implemented into the physical education curriculum or be a seperate class that all students can take. Many students feel unsafe when walking down the street or feel as if they are not able to protect themselves from physical attacks. Martial arts classes not only teach how to defend from physical attacks, but also promote respect, high self esteem and teamwork, which would encourage students and help with their social skills. 

          Martial arts classes should be implemented to promote safety and the well-being of students beyond a classroom setting. More students will have the confidence to walk down the street without an overwhelming amount of fear that they might get physically harmed or not be able to defend themselves from an attack. Having at least a month’s worth of martial arts classes would be beneficial, and can easily be implemented with the school district budget.

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