Winnie the Pooh ‘Run, Hide, Fight’ book draws parents’ ire

Winnie the Pooh ‘Run, Hide, Fight’ book draws parents’ ire

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

Cindy Campos, whose two children attend an elementary school in the Dallas Independent School District, said she wasn’t sure what to do when her youngest son, who is in prekindergarten, came home from school last week, titled Was “Stay safe.”

The book, Ms. Campos said, was placed in her son’s bag without any notes or instructions.

The book reads, “If danger is near, do not be afraid.” “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 bag of her elder son, who was studying in Class I. It was then, she said, that she began to wonder if the book was a ploy on the part of the school district.

Ms. Campos said, “I didn’t want the book.” “This is unsolicited advice.”

Other parents also complained, wondering why the book was given without instructions and calling the distribution “tone deaf,” shared near the anniversary of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Where there were 19 students and two teachers. were killed.

The distribution of the book comes nearly a week after a gunman shot and killed eight people, including three children, at an outdoor mall on May 6 in Allen, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas.

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

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

The book also attracted the attention of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who said Twitter said on Tuesday that “Winnie the Pooh is now teaching Texas kids about active shooters because elected officials lack the courage to keep our kids safe and pass common sense gun safety laws.”

The school district said in a statement Friday that the book has been sent home so parents can discuss with their children about staying safe in dangerous situations like a shooting. Still, the district acknowledged that it should have provided guidance to parents about the book.

“We work every day to prevent school shootings by tackling online threats and toughening up our schools,” the district said in an email. “Recently a booklet was sent home so that parents can discuss with their children how to stay safe in such cases. Unfortunately, we didn’t provide any guides or references to parents. We apologize for the confusion and are grateful to the parents who came forward to help us be better partners.

The district did not disclose 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 was not part of an agencywide initiative, and deferred questions about the book to the Dallas school district.

Ms Campos said the book has not been addressed by the school’s principal or its teachers. The school’s principal did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

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

The book, which was written by Praetorian owners Ken Eddox and Brittany Addox-Flores, doesn’t explicitly mention guns. Instead, it refers to hazards as “threats” 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.

The book “Stay Safe” was created by Texas police officers and teachers to teach elementary school students “how to stay safe and protect themselves when dangerous school intrusions occur,” Praetorian said on its website.

The company said the material, which features “famous and beloved characters” from Winnie the Pooh, teaches the “run, hide, fight” response, which is recommended in an active shooter situation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Defense. 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 the concepts of run, hide, fight should be discussed regularly with students of all ages, along with other school safety strategies such as fire drills, pedestrian safety and stranger-danger.” Must go.”

The National Association of School Psychologists recommends that parents and teachers who talk to elementary school According to the organization’s guidance, children should be given “concise, simple information about violence that should be balanced with reassurance that their school and home are safe and that adults are there to protect them.”

The organization said in guidance on its website that parents and teachers should remind young children of safety examples, such as closed doors. 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 across the country.

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

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

Ms. Campos said, “There was no way he was not going to let me read it.”

“I finished the book crying, and he said, ‘Why are you crying?'”


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