Winnie the Pooh ‘Run, Hide, Fight’ Book Draws Parents’ Ire

A Dallas school district has drawn backlash from parents after giving elementary school students a Winnie the Pooh-themed book that teaches kids how to “run, hide, fight” in dangerous situations like mass shootings. Is.

Cindy Campos, whose two children attend an elementary school in the Dallas Independent School District, said she couldn’t believe it when her youngest son, who is in pre-kindergarten, came home from school last week with a book. , titled “Stay Safe.”

Ms Campo said the book was placed in her son’s backpack without any notes or instructions.

“If danger is near, fear not,” the book reads. “Hide like Pooh until the police show up.”

At first, Ms. Campos said she wondered if it was a gift from her son’s teacher. But later that evening, she found the same book in the backpack of her eldest son, a first-grader. That’s when he said he began to wonder if the book was an initiative by the school district.

“The book was not what I wanted,” Ms. Campos said. “This is unsolicited advice.”

Other parents also complained, wondering why the book was given without instructions and calling the distribution “tone deaf” because The one-year anniversary of the mass shooting An elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed.

The book was also distributed about a week later. The gunman shot and killed eight people, including three children.May 6 at an outdoor mall in Allen, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas.

“When you read the book to them, they have 50 questions,” Ms. Campos said. “How do you go to bed telling them, ‘Yeah, this is what you do if you get shot at school,’ and then let them sleep?”

“It’s a nightmare waiting to happen,” she said.

The book also caught the attention of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who said: Twitter on Tuesday that “Winnie the Pooh is now teaching Texas kids about active shooters because elected officials don’t have the guts to keep our kids safe and pass common sense gun safety laws.”

In a statement Friday, the school district said the book was sent home “so that parents can talk to their children about staying safe in dangerous situations, such as shootings, in schools.” Still, the district admitted it should have guided parents about the book.

“We work every day to prevent school shootings by addressing online threats and hardening our schools,” the district said in an email. “Recently a booklet was sent home for parents to discuss with their children about how to stay safe in such situations. Unfortunately, we did not provide parents with any guidance or context. Apologies and grateful to parents for helping us become better partners.

The district did not say how many books were distributed or which schools and grades received them.

The Texas Education Agency, which oversees schools across the state, said Friday that the book is not part of an agency-wide initiative, and it referred questions about the book to the Dallas school district.

Ms. Campos said the book had not received any attention from the school’s principal or her teachers. The school’s principal did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

The book is published by Praetorian Consulting, a Houston firm that provides safety, security and crisis management training and services. He did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

The book, written by Praetorian owners Ken Adcox and Brittany Adcox-Flores, does not explicitly mention guns. Instead, it defines threats as “danger” and “something that is not right.”

Mr. Adcox did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday, and Ms. Adcox-Flores could not immediately be reached.

Praetorian said the book “Stay Safe” was created by Texas police officers and teachers to teach elementary school students “how to stay safe and protect themselves in the event of a dangerous intervention at school.” . website.

The company said the content, which features “popular and beloved characters” from Winnie the Pooh, teaches the “run, hide, fight” reactions recommended in an active shooter situation. Federal Bureau of Investigation And US Department of Homeland Security.

Winnie the Pooh, originally published in 1926, entered the public domain last year, allowing adaptations of its characters.

“It is our belief,” Praetorian said, “that along with other school safety strategies such as fire drills, pedestrian safety and stranger danger, the concepts of run, hide, fight should be regularly taught with students of all ages.” should be discussed.”

The National Association of School Psychologists recommends that parents and teachers talk to elementary schools. Children should be given “brief, simple information about violence balanced with reassurances that their schools and homes are safe and adults are there to protect them”. Guidance from the organization.

Parents and teachers should remind young children of examples of safety, such as locked doors, the organization said in guidance on its website. The National Association of School Psychologists did not respond to a request for comment about the Winnie the Pooh book.

Ms. Campos said the school district’s distribution of the book felt like an attempt to “normalize” the wave of gun violence around the country.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Ms. Campos said of talking to her children about gun violence. “We don’t have to talk to them about it, and as parents it’s very difficult.”

Eventually, Ms. Campos said, she read and read the book to her youngest son, who is 5.

“There was no way he was going to let me read it,” Ms. Campos said, adding that her son was interested because of Winnie the Pooh.

“I’m finishing the book crying, and he’s like, ‘Why are you crying?'”

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