CORVALLIS, Ore. -- About three dozen parents enrolled their kids in a free child safety course that took place at Pleu's Tae Kwon Do in Corvallis on Saturday. The course focused on teaching children how to react when confronted with dangerous situations.
One parent, Chari Engberg, said that she hopes the course will teach her son how to defend himself if a person tries to harm him.
"There's a lot of things happening in this world right now … and I want my son to know that there are bad people out there and they do bad things."
Sharon Pleu is the owner of Pleu Tae Kwon Do, and has taught self-defense courses for 15 years. She said the course teaches kids how to properly defend themselves if a stranger or bully tries to harm them.
After years of teaching the course Pleu found that the toughest part is getting children to understand that it is OK to scream if they are being attacked.
"They get to understand that they are allowed to yell and scream as they get away to get other peoples attention to help them." Pleu said.
Parents were also involved in the self-defense learning process. Parents were asked to work with kids on creating an emergency plan if a dangerous situation arises.
Pleu also asked parents to continue practicing safety and defense techniques at home after the course ends.
"Doing it once is not going to keep that child safe. But taking that child home and doing it with them and practicing it, that is the key to safety." Pleu said.
Pleu said that there will be another self-defense course offered in the future.