Every time my 11-year-old daughter tries to convince me to let her walk to school with her friends ("But mom, it is safe! Everybody else does it!"), I have a moment of mom-specific heart failure. Why? Because of stories like this one: Three girls -- ages 12, 9, and 7 -- were walking home Wednesday night in Atlanta when a man in a black pick-up truck came from out of nowhere and tried to kidnap the 7-year-old. And by "tried to kidnap," I mean he "exited his truck, grabbed the 7-year-old girl, covered her mouth so that she couldn’t scream, and began dragging her toward his truck.”
Cripes. Yeah, my kids will pretty much be allowed to walk to school with friends when they're, oh, I don't know, 35?! Or maybe I could just sign them up for self-defense classes. Because you know how that man in the truck "tried to kidnap" the 7-year-old? Well, he failed. Thanks to a crime-fighting 12-year-old and her tenacious 9-year-old sidekick!
Yup, you guessed it: That 12-year-old and that 9-year-old weren't going to let some bad dude snatch that 7-year-old without a fight. So, according to police spokesman Officer John Chafee, they "grabbed the victim and attempted to pull her away from the suspect, who then released the girl and fled the scene in his vehicle.”
BADASS!!! And also, um, thank god! Because the fact is, no matter HOW tough and/or brave a kid or kids might be, a grown man is gonna be a hell of a lot stronger. So I've got to assume this particular kidnapper gave up because the girls were causing a considerable ruckus and he was afraid of attracting attention, not because they kicked his teeth in, so to speak.
Still, as a mom, this makes me think: Maybe I should put my daughter in self-defense classes. Not because I think she'll actually be able to hold her own against a bad-intentioned adult, but because apparently the instinct to fight back can pay off anyway.
Do you think all kids should take self-defense classes?
Image via Ed Garcia/Flickr