A different approach to protecting our children

Posted at: 01/14/2013 10:31 PM
Updated at: 01/15/2013 6:54 AM
By: Lynette Adams

People everywhere continue to debate gun control and how to protect our children. Some teachers in the area took a different approach. They went to a class where instructors showed them how to potentially fight off an armed gunman.

About a dozen teachers went back to the classroom, but they're weren't sitting at a desk and they certainly weren't quiet. They were learning some simple tools to save the day should what happened in Newtown happen here.

It's one of the tools Officer Laurie Robinson teaches her students. If you're under attack, yell out, get noticed! Officer Robinson is an officer with the Rochester Police Department. This is perhaps not her typical class. The ladies in this class are teachers. They're learning what to do if what happened in Newtown, Connecticut happened in their school.

“I'm a person who  has even a hard time like killing a fly, but this is something we've got to think about today.” Tina Cooney is a seventh grader English teacher. She was in class the day of the Connecticut shootings. Cooney remembers feeling powerless. She decided then and there to be proactive. “It's all my teacher friends and I talk about often is what would we do. We all have a plan, we all know what we would do. Our school is really prepared. I feel really safe at my school, but you always have to be prepared for the worst.”

Rochester Police Officer Laurie Robinson said, “Twenty or 30 seconds doesn't seem like a long time unless you're literally fighting for your life.”

Robinson's instruction is simple. She teaches the students to use whatever they have around them as weapons, even a roll of tape. She shows them how to use the hardest part of their hand to strike someone, how to surprise an attacker from behind. News10NBC's Lynette Adams even got in on the class. The class is practical instruction that's easy to remember. Robinson wants her students to think about one thing.

Robinson said, “What if this happens here. If they've never thought about it, I want them to think about it. If they never do an other punch or kick.  I hope they don't ever have to grab a gun, but if they thought about it, they some type of plan.”

Robinson says you don't have to be a martial artist to save the day.“They have all these options they have to think about. This is just one more option to give them the confidence that maybe I could do it. You know, I never thought I could be that person.”

Monday night was part one of the free self defense class. Part two is Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Arikata Martial Arts Studio on Latta Road in Greece. If you'd like to learn more, you can contact Barb Keiser at 453-9447.