rad web

Jennifer Reber, center, helps prepare radKids for their graduation ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 13. The radKids course, now in its ninth year, helps kids learn to defensively resist aggression. Photo by Barbara Ellestad.

Parents usually try to teach their kids not to hit someone else and to get along with others. But last week it was quite the opposite as adult leaders of the radKIDS organization were teaching about 19 kids how to punch, kick, and scream their way out of dangerous situations.

The nonprofit organization, radKIDS, hosted the kids, ages 5 through 11, all week at the LDS Whipple Chapel. The group teaches them how to resist aggression defensively.

Instructors dressed up in ‘Redman’ bumper suits on Friday, the last day of the week-long class. They acted as aggressive strangers to the kids to help bring home the lessons the children had been taught about what to do in dangerous situations. Parents and friends looked on during the graduation ceremony.

The radKids learn different moves to help them get away if someone tries to grab them. The objective is not to fight, but to break away and get to safety. The kids learn empowerment and that no one has the right to hurt them. They also learn that they don’t have the right to hurt anyone else.

The Mesquite Constable’s office, headed by Duane Thurston, sponsored last week’s program which is now in its ninth year.

“We would like to thank the Nevada Childseekers, Smiths Food and Drug, the Mesquite Constable Office, volunteers and parents for a successful week-long class for the radKids,” said Dena Hoff, an instructor with the program. “We appreciate the donations which we’ll use to buy more equipment for the students and our local radKIDS classes. The equipment we use include hockey helmets, gloves, shin and elbow pads. The equipment provides protection to the students during the practice and simulation with the Redman. Donations are always appreciated.”