Fairview HS seniors learn self defense

Posted at 7:20 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 19:20:22-04

Fairview High School added a self defense course to the list of unofficial graduation requirements, hoping to prepare seniors for life in the real world and on college campuses, in particular. 

The Fairview Park Police Department provided hands-on self defense training in a series of classes Thursday for the Fairview High School seniors, followed by a safety and security talk.  

All of the officers involved in the program are defensive tactics instructors or have a strong martial arts background. 

For most students, it was their first exposure to a self-defense course. 

Fairview HS senior Sarah Haagensen, who will be attending Cleveland State University next year, said the program was "eye-opening." 

“Knowing that I can now find a way to squirm myself out of a serious situation was kind of comforting,” Haagensen told 

Students learned how to escape from multiple different kinds of restraints or choke holds. 

U.S. Department statistics show that nearly half of all reported crimes on college campuses are aggravated assaults and nearly 30 percent are robberies. 

Fairview High School Principal Christopher Vicha said the program is decided to help provide a well-rounded, “realistic” education experience for his students. 

“We have to let them know that there’s a lot of great people in the real world but there’s also some people that are out there that want to harm you,”  Vicha told 

Fairview Park Police Chief Erich Upperman’s Safety talk included tips about securing belongings, being mindful of surroundings and avoiding walking alone late at night on college campuses.