Charlie Troutner
Special to The Gardner News
Edgerton resident Darla Mabrey, a wife and mother, wanted to do something after the tragic kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Hailey Owens, of Springfield, Mo.
Owens was walking a block from her home when a man pulled her into his truck. Witnesses to the abduction said Hailey turned away from the car, but was grabbed and thrown into the vehicle. Police found her body and arrested a suspect a few hours after the kidnapping.
Maybrey said awareness is a very important first step in keeping children safe, and that’s what she hopes a children’s self defense class in Edgerton will provide.
From 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, May 3, at Edgerton City Hall, Mabrey, in conjunction with Training For Warriors, a self defense team from Lenexa, are presenting a self-defense and awareness program. The event is free and is open to all local youth, not just Edgerton children.
Pre-registration for the event will be at 10:50 a.m. that day. Pre-registration is encouraged, so organizers can get an idea of how many kids will attend. Mabrey also encourages parents to drop off their children after sign-in. as she Children tend to watch their parents and their reaction, instead of paying attention in class, Mabrey explained. Dropping children off will aid in the child being able to focus and learn as much as possible from the instructor.
However, if parents would like to stay for the class, they may sign up as a helper and assist during the class. All parents who drop off their children are asked to return about 11:50 a.m., to find out what their children learned in the class.
Mabrey said children need to know what to do in a case of stranger danger and to be able to fight back.
She also hopes an the event will generate family conversation between parents and kids about safety and awareness.
Children who take the class will learn communication skills, self-esteem and self-confidence in addition to self-defense moves and strategies that will encourage and empower the students.
Mabrey is currently an advocate for MOCSA, and an advocate for the “Stop Abuse” organization.
Anyone wanting to pre-register before the day of the event may do so by calling Edgerton Parks and Recreation.