Following a complaint that free self-defense classes exclusively for women and girls sponsored by a city commission violate equal-protection clauses of the Constitution, city officials have scheduled a class for men and boys for later this month, in addition to two new training sessions for females.
While the Glendale city attorney reviewed the complaint letter sent by the National Coalition for Men in March, the Commission on the Status of Women cancelled its two self-defense classes for females in April, which is also when the city celebrates "Sexual Harassment Awareness Month."
The majority of the City Council voted reluctantly to add male-only classes at the city's expense that month, with one calling the coalition a joke after the city attorney recommended they host the alternative training to minimize legal risk.
Reached by phone on Wednesday, Harry Crouch, president of the San Diego-based nonprofit coalition, said his group was glad the city scheduled a self-defense class for men and boys.
"We're very pleased that the city of Glendale decided to provide the same opportunities and services to men as they would women and girls," Crouch said.
The goal of the classes is to provide training that may help participants avoid sexual assaults and fight perpetrators if they are ever attacked. Crouch added earlier that men are also prone to violent attacks and could benefit from free self-defense classes.
Mayor Zareh Sinanyan suggested in April that the male-only class should incorporate conversations about bullying.
The two female classes, which cost $400, are to be paid for with funds raised by the Commission on the Status of Women. The cost of the men's class will come out of the city's General Fund, which pays for police, parks and other general services.
The two female-only classes are scheduled from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday in the Glendale Police Department's large community room, 131 N. Isabel St., and 6:30 to 9 p.m. on June 25 in Glendale Community College's Student Center Conference Room, SC212, 1500 N. Verdugo Road.
The male-only class is slated to take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 18 in the Glendale Police Department's large community room.
Participants must be 12 years old or older. Reservations are required. To hold a spot or for more information, call (818) 548-2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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