Miss Arkansas USA Mackenzie Hinderberger partnered with Fayetteville Krav Maga Self-Defense to offer a free self-defense class for teachers before the new school year. The class was held on Friday, August 11 and was open to any educator who teaches Kindergarten through 12th grade.
“School safety should be a top priority, and one of those ways we can do that is by starting with our educators,” said Hinderberger. “It is so important to make sure we know what to do and how to react in intense situations, as well as how to best protect ourselves and our students.”
Hinderberger is a second year teacher in Farmington, and she said that during her first year in the classroom she was overwhelmed by thoughts of how to keep her students safe if the worst case scenario were to happen.
“We’re in this vicious cycle of school shooting incidents,” said Hinderberger. “I knew that something had to change, something needed to be done, and I wanted to feel protected as best as I could.”
Cole Saugey, owner of Fayetteville Krav Maga, taught the self-defense class. Krav Maga is a self-defense system that is used by military and law enforcement agencies around the world. It is known for being simple and practical, and it is designed to be effective in high-stress situations.
The teachers in the class were eager to learn how to defend themselves and their students. They wanted to know how to fight off an active shooter or an intruder armed with a weapon. Saugey taught them a variety of techniques, including how to use their surroundings to their advantage, how to disarm an attacker, and how to escape from a dangerous situation.
“We’re just trying to give you more tools for your toolbox,” said Saugey. “I think that there’s always a significant boost in confidence when you know what you’re capable of. And I think the way that you carry yourself when you know what you’re capable of can almost be a deterrent to potential threats.”
The teachers in the class were grateful for the opportunity to learn self-defense. They said that they felt more confident and prepared to protect themselves and their students in the event of an emergency.
“This class was amazing,” said one teacher. “I learned so much and I feel so much more confident now.”
Another teacher said, “I’m so glad that Miss Hinderberger set up this class. It was so important for us to learn how to protect ourselves and our students.”
The Rest of the Country?
In today’s world, safety is of utmost importance, especially for our schools and children. That is why the self-defense class available to the teachers is such a valuable resource. As educators, teachers are responsible for ensuring that their students feel safe and secure while in their classrooms. Classes like these are an important step towards empowering teachers with the skills necessary to handle any dangerous situation that may arise.
Given that school shootings and other forms of violence can happen anywhere and anytime, it would be great to see this initiative spark a nationwide effort to train all teachers to defend their classrooms and use pepper spray or other non-lethal personal protection devices. Doing so protects our schools and children and gives teachers the tools to handle unexpected and dangerous situations effectively.
We must take every necessary step to safeguard our schools and children; the self-defense class for teachers is a vital component of that effort.