Local teens learn safety and self defense skills

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The “Be Smart” workshop educates kids on bullying and effective ways to avoid potentially harmful situations.

R.O.W.V.A. students in Knox County, Illinois took part in the Be Smart workshop Friday, February 1, 2013.

The event included student-led workshops designed to educate kids on internet safety and bullying.  It also included a self-defense class.

Organizers say empowering yourself goes way beyond your ability to handle physical confrontation.  They say student safety training is especially important for those who live in small towns and might be too trusting of others.

Student workshop leader Ellen Ullerup says being proactive is key.

“Self defense is not just being able to fight your way out of something,” Ullerup said.  “It is being proactive about it, trying to prevent it and have knowledge about different situations to prepare for an event.”

R.O.W.V.A. teacher Patricia Nelson agrees.

“If they could put themselves in safe places, they’ll be less likely to need actual attack moves to remain safe,” Nelson said.