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High school seniors learn self-defense from Columbus police

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A group of seniors at Columbus East High School skipped math and science Tuesday, and they instead learned how to kick and punch. Columbus police hosted the self-defense class and they said the goal is to teach the students how to fight back against assailants.

Ashley Sweet, who attended the class, said she is going to Ball State in the fall. She hopes she doesn’t have to use what she learned, but she’s happy to learn it.

“I definitely don’t want to be a victim, but it happens everywhere,” Sweet said.

Columbus police officer Angela Owens didn’t just tell the students what to do; she showed them. Owens demonstrated kicking and punching techniques among other self-defense tactics.

“I might save somebody’s life,” Owens said. “If they get attacked out there, I might have given them something that will save their life.”

Owens said with sexual assaults being reported at campuses across the country, the class is more important than ever. Officials with Indiana University said 17 percent of the female undergrads they surveyed said they are sexual assault victims.

Brooklyn Tauman said she attended because of assaults reported on or near the IU campus.

“I’m just thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t know what I’m going to do next year if this is me or one of my friends,’” Tauman said.

So she took the mat.

And she said her self-defense practice does not end there.

“I already plan to do it on my dad tonight and practice it out,” she said.