Most books about school violence focus on anti-bullying programs and counseling; Surviving a School Shooting by retired cop Loren Christensen takes a hard, realistic look at teaching kids what they will need to know if a gunman walks into their school.
What was once unimaginable and rare is now, tragically, part of life, and it's all too easy to summon that terrible image of a school surrounded by police officers, emergency vehicles and frantic parents and kids. Shootings have happened at large, urban schools and at small schools in sleepy little towns with low crime rates, because all it takes is one disturbed person to turn a seemingly safe school into a grim statistic.
Unfortunately, even responsible parents who warn their kids about drunk driving and other risky behaviors commonly send their children off to school without having what may be the most important talk of all: "What would you do if someone showed up with a weapon?"
In Surviving a School Shooting, Christensen teaches parents how to work with their children – from elementary schoolers to teens – to develop an age-appropriate plan of action that includes developing an awareness of surroundings and critical thinking skills. Within the pages of this book are ideas and techniques to teach kids how to feel safer at school; when to tell adults about rumors or threats; how to mentally rehearse a response to a shooting; and what to do when a shooting occurs: when to run and how to run; when to hide and how to hide; when to fight and how to fight.
Just as a fire drill prepares a child to calmly follow a path to safety in a burning building, the information in Surviving a School Shooting will train students to begin thinking strategically, defensively and offensively in case violence erupts at their school.
Loren W. Christensen is a Vietnam veteran, a retired police officer with 29 years of law enforcement experience and a martial artist since 1965. His police experience includes working gang enforcement, street patrol, dignitary protection and three years spent teaching in several middle schools on a variety of topics of concern to kids. As a writer, Loren has penned 40 books and dozens of magazine articles on a variety of subjects. While his target audience is most often what he calls "the warrior community" – martial artists, cops and soldiers – his writing, which includes a variety of other subjects, is also popular among high school and college students, parents and professionals of every kind.