Dallas-area parents and teachers alike were surprised Monday when students as young as 4 were issued a free book featuring the characters from the children’s literature classic Winnie the Pooh instructing children on what to do in case of a school shooting.
The Stay Safe book told children to “run, hide, fight” if an armed intruder aimed to hurt them.
The book was produced by a law enforcement consulting firm in Houston and used versions of the Hundred Acre Woods characters that entered the public domain on January 1, 2022, rather than the animated versions still under Disney copyright.
“Run, hide, fight” is the mantra advised by the FBI “should the unthinkable occur.”
“If it is safe to get away, we should RUN like Rabbit instead of stay,” reads one passage from the book, which continues, “If danger is near, do not fear, HIDE like Pooh does until the police appear.
“If danger finds us, don’t stay, run away. If we can’t get away, we have to FIGHT with all our might.”
The book was sent out and distributed to students without any teacher consultation and without warning to parents that it would be given to their children.
Whether intentionally or not, the literature was sent home the week of the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Uvalde, Tex., that claimed 19 lives in 2022.
“I found it extremely disturbing, and was very uncomfortable with the whole contents of the book,” one teacher told The Guardian under condition of anonymity. “The fact that people think it’s a better idea to put out this book to a child rather than actually take any actions to stop shootings from happening in our schools, that really bothers me. It makes me feel so angry, so disappointed.”