A Dallas school district has apologized after distributing a Winnie the Pooh-themed book about a school shooting.
Titled “Stay Safe: Run, Hide, Fight,” the book’s cover reads: “If in danger, let Winnie the Pooh and his team tell you what to do.”
Inside, it includes passages like this: “If danger is near, do not be afraid. Hide like Pooh until the police show up. Doors should be locked and passages should be blocked. Lights off and out of sight.”
The Dallas Independent School District said in a statement that it “works every day to prevent school shootings” by addressing online threats and improving safety measures.
“Recently, a booklet was sent home so parents can discuss with their children how to stay safe in this situation,” the statement read.
“Unfortunately, we do not provide parents [with] Any guidance or context. We apologize for the confusion and thank the parents who reached out to help us be better partners. “
The district did not say how many students received the book.
California Governor Gavin Newsom was among those who criticized the book, posting on Twitter: “Winnie the Pooh is now teaching Texas kids about active shooters because elected officials No courage to keep our children safe, no courage to pass common sense gun safety laws for our children.”
“It’s not very cute”
Cindy Campos, whose five-year-old son was sent home with the book, said she cried while reading it.
“It’s hard because you’re reading them a bedtime story and basically now you have to explain what the book is about in this cute way, and the book isn’t exactly cute,” she said.
Ms Campos said it seemed particularly “deaf” to send it home around the time Texas commemorated last year’s anniversary Mass shooting at a school in Uvaldewhen a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.
The book is published by Praetorian Consulting, a Houston-based company that provides safety, security and crisis management training and services.
The company said on its website that it uses age-appropriate material to teach the concept of “run, hide, fight” — the approach U.S. authorities say civilians should take in the event of a shooting.
Read more: The 10 deadliest US mass shootings of 2023
Active shooter training has become common in American schools in recent years.
While many people associate the Winnie the Pooh characters with Disney, they can be used legally and for free in the US without repercussions.
US copyright law states that an author’s work may be used by anyone 70 years after the author’s death or 95 years after publication.
In addition to the book, AA Milne’s character also appeared in a recent horror movie called “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.”