Surviving a School Shooting: A Plan of Action for Parents, Teachers, and Students
Surviving a School Shooting
Author(s) Loren W. Christensen
Published 2008
Publisher Paladin Press
Country United States
Pages 136
ISBN 9781581606591

Surviving a School Shooting: A Plan of Action for Parents, Teachers, and Students is a book by Loren W. Christensen, published by Paladin Press, Boulder, CO, in 2008.


Most books about school violence focus on anti-bullying programs and counseling; this book, 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 this unique guide, 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 this book will train students to begin thinking strategically, defensively and offensively in case violence erupts at their school.

Table of contentsEdit

Chapter Page
Chapter 1: The Threat 5
Recent School Shootings 6
Triggers 9
Profile of a School Shooter 11
Chapter 2: Prevention 17
The Indicators Are There 18
Laying the Groundwork with Your Child 22
Establishing a Threat Assessment Committee 28
Chapter 3: When a Student Seems Dangerous 33
If Your Child Knows Someone Has a Gun 34
How to Talk to an Upset and Volatile Person 39
Should We Pay Students for Information? 42
The Problem with Zero Tolerance 42
Should We Arm Teachers? 44
Chapter 4: Mind-Set and Strategy 49
Stages of Alertness 49
Examine Your School Strategically 52
Alarm Systems 57
Lockdown 59
Metal Detectors 62
The Challenge of Understanding Violent Reality 64
What Happens to Your Mind and Body under Great Stress 69
What Can You Do? 72
Chapter 5: Under Fire 83
Talking with Your Kids About What to Do 83
You Have No Warning 85
Flee the Area 86
Hide 89
Barricades 92
Calling the Police 93
How the Police See It 95
Other Emergency Services 97
Assisting Wounded Classmates 98
Chapter 6: Fighting Back 101
Who Should Fight Back? 103
The Confrontation 105
Methods of Attacking 117
Resist Being Moved to Another Location 118
You've Been Shot 119
Your Mind-Set 120
Weapons Everywhere 124
The Fight: Dissected 127
About the Author 135
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