A Texas school district is apologizing for sending young students home with a Winnie the Pooh-themed book without telling their parents it’s about how to survive a school shooting.
“If danger is near, do not fear. Hide like Pooh until police appear,” says the book — which shows the famous bear sticking his head in a honey jar, according to the Dallas Fox station.
Some parents said they are furious that they were blind-sided by the book, with a mom saying she began reading it with her young son at home — only to become upset as she turned the pages, while he was confused.
“It was just so weird. It came with no instructions,” the mom, Cindy Campos said of the book, which was given to students as young as 5.
“It’s sad that we are normalizing it with a Winnie the Pooh book,” Campos said of mass shootings, adding “We are not going to make active shooter drills cute.”
The book’s cover features Pooh and is titled “Stay Safe: Run, Hide, Fight.”
“If danger find us, don’t stay. Run away,” the book reads, according to the Oak Cliff Advocate.
“If we can’t get away, we have to fight with all our might,” it adds, accompanied with a drawing of a mother and baby kangaroo sporting boxing gloves.
Piglet is also there ready to fight.
The story goes on to advise little ones to be quiet and wait for teachers or police to find them.
“It’s just a gut punch, where you know where this is going to go,” Campos said.
The mom, whose son attends Leslie A. Stemmons Elementary, said the book was placed in her son’s backpack on the eve of the first anniversary of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, where 19 kids and two teachers were massacred.
The Dallas Independent School District eventually apologized for not giving parents a head’s up, although not for doling the book out.
“Recently, a booklet was sent home so parents could discuss with their children how to stay safe in such cases. Unfortunately, we did not provide parents any guide or context,” the district told Fox. “We apologize for the confusion and are thankful to parents who reached out to assist us in being better partners.”
The district added to The Advocate, “The reality that Dallas ISD faces is no different than any other school district in America.
“We work every day to prevent school shootings by dealing with online threats and by hardening our schools. In addition, we conduct active shooter drills, so students know what to do in case the unthinkable happens.”
The book caught the attention of gun-control advocates, who said the Lone Star State should be spending more of its time keeping children safe by passing stronger laws.