"Stranger Danger" Training for College Students

posted by WMT News/KCRG-TV9 - 

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (KCRG-TV9)-- As kids get settled into their college dorms, one Cedar Rapids group is reminding them to be aware of their surroundings.

This comes after two high profile cases in Iowa of missing young people. Those people are Jake Wilson and Mollie Tibbetts.

The Izzak Walton League in Cedar Rapids had Navy Veteran, Clay Grandia at their meeting on Tuesday to train kids on situational awareness.

Grandia wants kids to have their heads up and watching their surroundings, instead of being glued to their phones. He also believes one of the biggest mistakes kids make on a college campus is trusting everybody.

Grandia explains, "A lot of them are leaving their hometown, or places where they know the people and they know the background of everybody. They're gonna be going to school where there's gonna be a lot of new faces, a lot of new people, and backgrounds."

He says being aware increases helps a person react to an attack faster. People can do that by reading situations and people, and knowing where all the escape routes are at in a classroom.

If a person is attacked, Grandia showed off tools people can use to defend themselves. That’s because surviving is the only rule.He says, “Just fight. Elbow kick, punch, scream, bite. Whatever you can do."

Members of the Izzak Walton League says they put on the event to remind kids that they’re not invincible. Member Bob Godlove says, “The kids themselves think they're gonna live forever, and nothing will ever happen to them. I did when I was a kid. I'm sure you felt the same way, but parents ought to know by now and probably do know by now that, that isn't always the case."

This training wasn't to scare people. Grandia says Iowa is a pretty safe place. He just wants kids to stay on their toes.

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