EARLHAM, Iowa – For the first time, C.O.B.R.A. Self Defense Iowa is teaching an entire school district what to do in case of an emergency.
C.O.B.R.A stands for Combat Objective Battle Ready Application. It is designed to train people in real life scenarios so they are prepared.
A parent in the Earlham School District wanted to bring the training program in to teach all students when they saw how successful teaching a small group of children back in August was.
“Earlham Chicks and Checks” raised a little more than $1,800 to make it happen.
Earlham Chicks and Checks Board Member Kayla Reynolds said they wanted to teach the children how to protect themselves in case someone tries to abduct them.
“To bring in professionals to do that is going to give not only parents some piece of mind, but also these children and let them feel empowered and have some self-confidence. God-forbid we ever get in a situation like this or they get abducted, they would have some tools to fight back,” Reynolds said.
During the course of two days in two-hour sessions, each grade level will learn skills that can help them escape.
C.O.B.R.A Self Defense Iowa Co-Owner Amy Ratekin said some of the skills she is teaching include: a throat strike, an eye rake, and thumb punch.
“The biggest thing is to empower the kids and not scare them. So, there is a delicate balance between giving them reality and scaring them so they don’t want to leave their house,” Ratekin said.
The students learn about different tactics strangers will try to lure them in, and go through different age-appropriate scenarios.
“Unfortunately the dangers of years past are different than the dangers of today, and I think every kid no matter if they live in a big community or small community should feel safe and have the knowledge and power to do something about it if they ever get in a bad situation,” Reynolds said.
Ratekin said it is the perfect time to train students now since summer is right around the corner.
“The students you know they are on their own. A lot of them are home by themselves. They are going to activities, they are going to camp, all of those wonderful things. They are going to leave the safety of their home and go out and explore the entire nation this summer. So, it’s a great time for them to learn,” Ratekin said.
The training program teaches individual classes people can take to learn how to protect themselves in case of an active shooter, abductions and how to respond to a bully.
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