Amarillo teacher writes book to help kids prepare for active shooter situation

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Melissa Anderson is a fifth-grade science teacher at Sanborn Elementary School. Out of all the lessons she has taught, one of the most important comes from the book she wrote, called “Terrible Tigers.”

“We had some talk at school about how it’s hard to teach the little kids about the event of an active shooter. And so I just thought, if it was put into a story like a children’s story, then it might be easier to open up that conversation with the little kids,” Anderson explained. 

It discusses the situation in a way that would be less scary for kids.

“It doesn’t actually talk about a shooter at all but we know that the terrible tiger is the shooter. So, at the end, after you read the story you can open up a conversation with the little kids. Hopefully, it’s kind of a gentler way to talk about it,” Anderson said.

She did not do it alone. The pictures were drawn by her son, Jameson.

“I knew that I didn’t have time to draw the pictures myself and he likes to draw. So I just asked him,” said Anderson.

She also got some help from a couple of others, like Paul Bourquin, the Director of Safety and EmergencyPreparedness for Amarillo ISD.

“She asked Sgt. Godfrey and myself to just talk to her about some of the things about lockdowns,” said Borquin.

The book is Anderson’s response to the sad reality of how many school shootings our nation has experienced.

“It’s disheartening. It makes you really sad and it makes me want to do something and so that’s part of why I wrote this,” said Anderson.

She actually started the book back in 2016. It was part of a project she was working on to get her principal certification, but then, it turned into so much more.

Anderson also told us even though she teaches at Sanborn, the book is meant for kids everywhere.

“Any place, any kid could read it. It’s for parents and teachers to use it, it also talks about if you’re at a store or church,” Anderson added. 

“Terrible Tigers” is currently for sale on Amazon. 

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