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Kids' Guide to Winnie the Pooh-Based Shooting Causes Shock in Texas

2023-05-27T20:50:41.520Z

Highlights: The cover of the book reads, "If there is danger, let Winnie Pooh and her team show you what to do" The book advises children to lock doors, turn off lights and hide quietly. The decision to send the book to the children's homes has sparked a great deal of controversy. California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted, "Winnie the Pooh is now teaching Texas kids about active shooters" The incident came as the state marks the anniversary of last year's mass shooting at an elementary school.


The cover of the book reads, "If there is danger, let Winnie Pooh and her team show you what to do." It includes passages like, "If danger is near, fear not. Hide like Pooh does until the police show up."


By Jamie Stengle - The Associated Press

Cindy Campos' 5-year-old son was so enthusiastic about the Winnie the Pooh book he was given at school that he asked her to read it to him as soon as he got home. But her motherly heart shuddered when she realized the text was a guide on what to do when "danger is near" and advises children to lock doors, turn off lights and hide quietly.

As they read the Stay Safe book that the school sent home, without offering an explanation or warning the parents, she began to cry, leaving her son confused.

Cindy Campos reads 'Stay Safe' to her 5-year-old son in Dallas. The book advises children what to do if "danger is near" in the event of shootings. AP

"It's hard because you're reading them a bedtime story and basically now you have to explain in a nice way what the book is about, when it's not exactly pretty," Campos said.

She said her first-grader, who attends the same elementary school as her pre-K son, also received a copy of the book last week. After discussing it in an online group of neighbors, she learned from other parents who are also concerned about the book's content.

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The decision to send the book to the children's homes has sparked a great deal of controversy. California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted, "Winnie the Pooh is now teaching Texas kids about active shooters because elected officials don't have the courage to keep our kids safe and pass commonsense gun safety laws."

The backlash caused the Dallas Independent School District to be forced to provide an explanation. On Friday, education officials said in a statement that they work "every day to prevent school shootings" by dealing with online threats and improving security measures. They also conduct drills by an active shooter.

"A booklet was recently sent home so parents could talk to their children about how to stay safe in such cases," the district said. "Unfortunately, we don't provide any guidance or context. We apologize for the confusion and thank the parents who reached out to help us be better allies."

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The district did not detail how many schools and grades in the district received the books.

Campos said the book "tormented" her and that it seemed insensitive to send it to children's homes without any explanation, as the state marks the anniversary of last year's mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, when a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.

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The incident came as the Republican-led Texas legislature wraps up a session in which it rejected virtually all proposals to tighten gun laws but passed a law prohibiting school libraries from holding books containing descriptions, illustrations or audio depictions of sexual conduct that are not relevant to the mandatory school curriculum.

Active shooter drills have become common in U.S. schools, though there is disagreement over whether they do more harm than good.

Campos said that while he doesn't disagree with the book's intent, he wished it had come with a warning to parents so he could present it to their children at the right time and in the right way. She said she has talked to her children about school shootings, and that she could have chosen to wait to read them the book until another attack happened.

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"I would have done it when I saw fit," said Campos, who first spoke to the Oak Cliff Advocate news site.

The cover of the book reads, "If there is danger, let Winnie the Pooh and his team show you what to do." Inside, include passages such as: "If danger is near, fear not. Hide like Pooh does until the police show up. Doors must be closed and passage blocked. Turn off the light to stay out of sight."

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The book was published by Praetorian Consulting, a Houston-based company that provides crisis management and security training and services. The company, which did not respond to requests for comment, says on its website that it uses appropriate materials to teach the concepts of "run, hide, fight," the approach authorities say civilians should take in active shooter situations.

The company also says on its website that its K-6 curriculum features the characters from Winnie the Pooh, who are now in the public domain and even appear in a recent horror film.

Source: telemundo

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