Winnie the Pooh guide to gun violence sparks outrage in US | News about gun violence
Cindy Campos’ 5-year-old son was so excited about the Winnie the Pooh book he got at school that he asked her to read it with him as soon as he got home.
But her heart sank when she realized it was a tutorial on what to do when “danger is near,” advising children to lock the doors, turn off the lights, and hide quietly.
As they read the Stay Safe book, Campos began to cry, confusing her son. His school in the United States had sent the text home without explanation or warning to the parents.
“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, when it’s not exactly cute,” Campos said.
She said her first-grader, who attends the same elementary school in Dallas, Texas as her pre-K son, also received a copy of the book last week. After posting about it in an online neighborhood group, she found other concerned parents whose children had also taken the book home.
The decision of the district to send children home with the book has caused quite a stir. California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted, “Winnie the Pooh is now teaching Texas kids about active shooters because the elected officials lack the courage to keep our kids safe and pass gun safety laws.”
It provoked enough backlash to warrant a statement from the Dallas Independent School District, which said in a statement Friday that it “works hard every day to prevent school shootings” by addressing online threats and improving security measures . It also conducts active target practice.
“A booklet was recently sent home so that parents can discuss with their children how to stay safe in such cases,” the district said. “Unfortunately, we have not provided parents with any manual or context. We apologize for the confusion and are grateful to the parents who reached out to us to help us become better partners.”
The district did not say how many schools and classes in the district received the books.
Campos said the book was “spooky” and seemed particularly “tone-deaf” to send it home around the time the state celebrated the anniversary of last year’s mass shooting in Uvalde, when a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at a primary school. school.
It also comes as the Republican-controlled Texas legislature is wrapping up a session in which it rejected virtually all proposals to tighten gun laws. But it did pass legislation that prohibits school libraries from having books that contain descriptions, illustrations or audio that depict sexual behavior that is irrelevant to the required school curriculum.
Active target practice has become commonplace in American schools, although there is disagreement over whether they do more harm than good.
Campos said that while she doesn’t disagree with the intent of the book, she wished a parental warning had been added so she could introduce it to her children at the right time and in the right way. She said she had discussed school shootings with her children and that she may have chosen to wait to read the book until there was another attack.
“I would have done it on my own time,” said Campos, speaking to the Oak Cliff Advocate for the first time.
The book’s cover reads, “When danger threatens, let Winnie the Pooh and his team show you what to do.” Inside it contains passages such as: “When danger is near, do not be afraid. Hide like Pooh does until the police show up. Doors must be locked and the passage blocked. Turn off the lights to stay out of sight.”
The book is published by Praetorian Consulting, a Houston-based company that provides training and services in safety, security, and crisis management.
The company, which did not respond to reports from The Associated Press asking for comment, says on its website that it uses age-appropriate materials to teach the concepts of “run, hide, fight” – the approach would see citizens actively must be shooting situations.
The company also says on its website that its K-6 curriculum includes Winnie the Pooh characters, which are now in the public domain and even featured in a recent horror movie.