‘Rad’ skills help kids defend themselves

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By Kaitlin Keane

Midtown Elementary first- and second-graders were able to stand their ground after facing a kidnapping scenario, thanks to the help of the radKIDS self-defense training course.


“We hope they never have to use these skills,” said Missy Lane, Roane County juvenile court youth service officer and truancy officer.

She and Heather Dyer, Midtown school counselor, used the 13 week Excel after-school class to teach about self-defense, fire safety, dog safety, out-and-about safety, around-the-home safety, household hazards, dangers of drugs and the dangers of guns.

The class was easier to manage with five pupils, Dyer said. It also gave time for more conversations about different situations.

“Education is the only thing that can change fear into power, and radKIDS can and does give children opportunity and power to live safer in our world today,” the radKIDS website said.

At the end of the course students faced Harriman Assistant Police Chief Kenny Humphrey in a series of scenarios.

“The kids are trained to act like it is happening,” Dyer, said.

Second-grader Zack Peterson said his favorite part of the class was graduation day because “we got to beat up the person.”

After the “attack” happened, students used their radKID skills to get away and went to a “safe location” designed and practiced making phone calls to 911.

Peterson felt the class was good for students to take because it “helped me be able to defend myself in the future.”