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Chicago author hopes new book prevents future shooting tragedies

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As we mark with sadness the 1-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shootings, Chicago author Andra Medea is offering a new book on tips and techniques to handle explosive situations, and even better, how to prevent them in the first place.

Medea, who has taught conflict management courses at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, penned "Safe Within These Walls: De-escalating School Situations Before They Become Crises," to offer parents, school administrators and law enforcement official some help in recognizing signs of danger.

Twenty children and six adults were killed in the Dec. 14, 2014 shooting massacre at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

"Once the SWAT team arrives, the odds are much lower that everyone will walk away from this. The best time to stop aggression and violence is before it starts. School crisis prevention is by far the best solution," said Medea, who developed the Virtual Tranquilizer, a technique used to de-escalate crises that has been adapted for psychiatric staff, child welfare workers, the American Bar Association and the National Guard.

The book offers tips on things, such as:

  • How a teacher should handle an angry student in class;
  • What activities reach angry young people;
  • How parents and teachers can best time their intervention.

It also provides advice for spotting something strange and how to report it. "If you see something, say something," she said.

To learn more, follow Andra Medea on twitter @_AMedea, or join the discussion on Facebook at Safe Within These Walls.

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