Thursday, February 8, 2018–school board meeting at Mercer Island

I had been thinking of sharing some ideas with the local MI school board on the topic of danger awareness and self-defensive action and tactics for the purpose of rape reduction and attempted rape reduction for the young ladies, though some principles and tactics are the same for boys, with respect to some kinds of bullying.

The reason is that last year I took a phone call from a student reporter of Mountlake Terrace high school and then I went to the student newspaper website, and the student newspaper website of MTHS had 2 or 3 articles on the topic of rapes which had taken place on MTHS campus or with MTHS students as the victim. So, there is the question, what, if anything, reasonably can be done to reduce rape and attempted rape of the young ladies, since the Mountlake Terrace school principal apparently does not have a lot of ideas on how to reduce rapes of girls who attend high schools . . . and so he is quoted in the school newspaper, approximately.

And it is not that hard to come up with some good ideas, ideas that are statistically proven to reduce the rate of rape and attempted rape. See EAAA and the studies done on the effects of EAAA, which is short for Enhanced Access, Acknowledge, Act: Sexual Assault Resistance.

Anyway, you can take groups of the young women in college, and have some of them take EAAA and others of them be a control group and read a brochure or have any other rape awareness education or program . . . and EAAA or anything substantially similar to it will substantially reduce the rapes and attempted rapes, and all the other stuff does not . . . or it is not proven to do so . . or it has effects which disappear after about 3 months, while EAAA: Sexual Assault Resistance has substantial beneficial effects that last for years.

It is ok to teach the girls about consent and that they have the right to choose and to say no and that is a very good first step, but the effects of training are dramatic when you include teaching danger awareness, precautions, evasion and fighting in self-defense. Rape and attempted rape is cut in half or more, by teaching danger awareness, recognition, avoidance and fighting when necessary and tactics.

In previous months I was not sure what I wished to propose to the MI school board in terms of a class, but it turns out that I found online information re 2 local classes of the type and with the content that I suspect would be of benefit to some of the young persons of schools.

The classes are the womens self defense 101 class offered at Bellevue College which is a 12-hour class, taught over 6 weeks in 2 hour segments, including danger awareness, avoidance and fighting if and when necessary and tactics and forms of escape and tactics and forms of fighting and also the Redmond PD class on womens and girls personal safety, which I think tends to be a 2 hour class, but maybe it is shorter. A lot of these kinds of classes are done in 2 hour segments.

I think that the Redmond PD include more information and the laws and methods and propriety of use of various kinds of weapons than does the Bellevue College class. I don’t know; I have not taken either class. I have taken similar classes, but I have not yet got to either of these classes.

Anyway, because there exists already some probably excellent classes, I realized that neither I nor the MI police nor the school board need to create a whole new class or curiculum offering. The school board could probably ask one of their class developers to learn the material and create a class based on the 2 existing local classes with useful modifications, or simply just adopt completely the two existing local classes.

I arrived 15 or 10 minutes early and I was chatting at 2 points with various school district staff. Partway in the time prior to 7:00 a fellow of MIPD arrived and then chatted with one of the staff members for a short time and then both he and the staff member resumed usual positions, with the officer standing and observing from the back of the room. I hate standing for long periods of time and I hope the officer got to sit down or pursue other tasks at a reasonable time.

I assume that the officer came to help ensure good conduct by myself or others and that his conversation with the woman staff member was on the topic of my presence or speaking. I am not sure what aspect of my conduct led to bringing over the officer, but that is ok–part of police procedure or tactics is to simply prevent problems and bad conduct by being present. People who might otherwise act badly refrain from acting badly if an officer is present or nearby.

I have walked at Greenlake in little clothing and I at times carry weapons and it appears some fraction of one of the local schools engaged in anxiety or other negative emotions as a result of my website several months ago . . . I indirectly suggested that if some fellow were to hit me at a parade and if I were wearing a weapon it might be drawn and the whole situation should be avoided by persons avoiding hitting me or if necessary, by police presence where helpful. So police can like the idea of all concerned avoiding unnecessary armed conflict . . .

In any case, the officer fellow came to the meeting to be present, presumably to help ensure no persons were attacking each other or disturbing the peace in an unproductive way.

I did not even think to bring a weapon to the school board meeting as a prop or conversation item . . . or wearing any normally and unobtrusively . . . or for any other purpose, though earlier this evening a friend and I had attempted to assemble my mini-cross-bow at the local grocery store.

It was very funny, but also reasonable I suppose. Two people asked us what it was or if it was a gun; the handle of the mini-cross-bow looks somewhat like the handle of a firearm and they gradually realized that the mini-cross-bow was not a threat . . . and I later with a smile reassured one of them that I was not there for their money or any similar harm. The friend and I could not get the cross-bow properly strung and I dissassembled it and showed the disassembled parts to one of the clerks who had asked about it, after he and I had given up stringing it . . .

Apparently to string my 50-pound mini-cross-bow, I and a friend need to really push or pull the arms of the bow back and that is currently a substantial challenge for us. This guy apparently has a suitable back yard; if we ever get this cross bow functional, we may try it out in a suitable back yard.

My cross bow is still not assembled properly and requires either greater ingenuity or strength than we have to string the bow. Some of the school board has seen me with my katana and I am sure that at some of the fairs many of them will see me again with the katana. Fear not; sheathed katanas make for less police and public agitation . . . and in any case, no one need expect the school board to make decisions based on weapons in their vicinity . . . and as the Bible says, “Let all things be done to edification.”

Anyway, to be at the grocery while attempting to assemble a mini-cross-bow and being asked if it is a gun is simply one of the many small examples of people being not being very familiar with weapons . . . Even if you don’t have one, tis good to know what they are and be able to recognize them but I did not bring any over for the school board meeting!

And . . . so . . . the officer perhaps is happy that I do not draw weapons randomly . . . I actually came with a history book to read during the time before the meeting, in the event that I was not speaking with anyone. The school district has an assistant fellow who taught history and we shared a few sentences about the book I was reading about the election of Madison v. Marshall.

Although some people seemingly of high school age or related were concerned about me in some previous months in a negative way, at the homecoming parade in October, my name or photo is not sufficiently widespread that it concerned the band members who were sitting right behind me and who are going to Puerto Rico to help a school band there have sufficient funds to come to America for the Rose Bowl. The band members and I said hi and greeted each other peacefully.

At some point before the meeting began, Brian Giannini Upton the school board fellow walked over and greeted me in a peaceful cheerful way.

I spoke to the board and I think I said that there had been some rapes at Mountlake Terrace high school and these rapes had been reported in the high school newspaper, or I think I may have included that. I mentioned briefly the 2 local classes that could be used to help the young women or men have some greater danger awareness and a meaningful danger response.

After I was finished, one of the school board members asked a wise and helpful question of the superintendent, and the question was, “What course, classes or cirriculum do we have that covers this material?” and the superintendent said she did not know, if any.

Many schools in king county have a “program” that aims to reduce rates of “sexual assault” by teaching the girls about consenting or not and the boys/guys about respecting people. No one knows statistically if it helps or so I have read on the website of some of the people who teach or own the program. Maybe it does; maybe it does not. The current class or program generally offered or included in public school teaching does not seem to include much of danger awareness, recognition, evasion and escape tactics and basic fighting tactics, parts of many basic womens or mens self-defense classes.

I have been to the MI high school website which lists its classes and to the Roosevelt high school website which lists its classes. I don’t think that either one of these schools has something like the Redmond PD womens and girls personal safety class or the womens self-defense class of Bellevue college. The class need not be for a whole semester. The class at Bellevue is 12 hours and the Redmond police-public class is probably something done in an evening or an afternoon. If it were me, I would find a way to include such content as part of some of the PE classes or part of a health class. One PE class at MI and at Roosevelt is yoga and another similar PE class is a wide assortment of physical games. I would have the class available to the boys or young men as well . . . and that is probably required by law, good sense and better custom.

Some yoga classes could include danger awareness and danger response, or the MI school board could ask staff to figure out a different good place for such a class.

I did not prepare ahead of time with any written material or documentation. I think I will go again, but I am sure not on what day. I will work on bringing over some useful written material for the board members and the sup and the sup assistant.

The study demonstrated the 1-year risk of rape was significantly lower among those who completed theEAAA program (Senn et al., 2015). Further research has determined that these effects last for up to 2 years (Senn et al., 2017). In addition, the program reduced women-blaming as well as self-blame in women who took EAAA.

Below is the summary of the 12 hours of content of the self-defense class for women at Bellevue; some of the class is basic martial arts practicing . . . escaping, avoiding and hitting when necessary.

A girl or woman who takes at least some classes has a chance that, when confronted by an evil-doer, her question for herself is whether or not to disable a guy or send him to the hospital . . . She should at least have the chance.

Self-Defense 101 for Women

Research indicates that women who successfully defend themselves are better able to quickly recognize threatening situations, express, and if necessary physically enforce their boundaries. Learn those skills. Recognize assailant ploys and manipulations–and how to thwart them. Practice releases from common grabs and decisive strikes to vital targets. Assess your risks, and plan around them. Understand the connections between awareness, threats, and our media environment. Come prepared to challenge yourself–emPOWERment doesn’t get more fun.

Course fee includes $ 5.00 material fee of buttons and boards for breaking.

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