- A Dallas school district distributed Winnie-the-Pooh books about dealing with a school shooter.
- The book shows the bear telling kids to “run, hide, fight,” as per the FBI’s recommendations.
- Some parents and teachers were uneasy about the book and the “normalization” of school shootings.
Children in Texas are being given Winnie the Pooh books that teach them to “run, hide, fight” if a gunman targets their school, according to multiple reports.
The book, titled “Stay Safe,” was sent home in the backpacks of pupils in the Dallas Independent School District last week, according to the Oak Cliff Advocate. The book is aimed at K-6 aged children.
On one page, the beloved bear from the Hundred Acre Wood tells kids: “If danger is near, do not fear. HIDE like Pooh does until the police appear.”
Another piece of advice reads: “We should all hide without a sound in a place where we cannot be found,” showing Pooh peeping out from inside a honey pot.
The book was distributed just a week after the anniversary of the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in which a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.
Cindy Campos, a mother in Oak Cliff, Texas whose kids received copies, told the local outlet that there’s “nothing inappropriate about the book itself.”
But she expressed worry that school shootings are getting “normalized.”
Campos added: “All I want after [the last day of school] is to take my kids home and sit on our couch. But there are families in Uvalde that can’t do that.”
“There are going to be more families that can’t do that and this book shows me that,” she said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted a spread from the book on Tuesday, writing: “Winnie the Pooh is now teaching Texas kids about active shooters because the elected officials do not have the courage to keep our kids safe and pass common sense gun safety laws.”
—Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 23, 2023
One Dallas elementary school teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Guardian: “I found it extremely disturbing, and was very uncomfortable with the whole contents of the book.”
Echoing Newsom’s sentiments about gun laws, the teacher said she was “so angry, so disappointed” that the book was produced “rather than actually take any actions to stop shootings from happening in our schools.”
The Dallas Independent School District did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, sent outside of working hours.
The “run, hide, fight” advice in the book is consistent with the FBI’s advice to schools on dealing with an active shooter.
The company that produced the book, Praetorian Consulting, says on its website that the book was created as part of a suite of materials designed in partnership with schools and police “to teach children how to remain safe and protect themselves should a dangerous school intrusion take place.”
Winnie the Pooh has been in the public domain since January 1, 2022, and this is not an official production.
Since the copyright expired, several unusual uses of his image have cropped up — from the upcoming horror movie “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” to protest images comparing the gentle bear to China’s President Xi Jinping.