Dallas Independent School District (DISD) has issued an apology to concerned parents after a Winnie the Pooh-themed picture book detailing how to respond during an active shooter situation was sent home with young students without adequate warning or explanation.
— DallasMetro.news (@DallasMetroNews) May 27, 2023
The book, titled “Stay Safe: Run, Hide, Fight,” uses Winnie the Pooh characters to outline the correct protocol for students should an active shooter emergency arise. However, Dallas mother Cindy Campos felt that the book was tone-deaf and insensitive given the serious nature of the topic being discussed.
According to Campos, her son’s elementary school frequently hands out take-home books, but this particular book caught her off guard. She says that she was immediately overcome with emotion upon reading the opening pages, which featured a quote from Winnie the Pooh reading: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Campos proceeded to read the book with her son, coming across quotes that she found concerning such as “Run like a rabbit, hide like Pooh and fight like Kanga and Roo do.” and “If danger is near, do not fear. Hide like Pooh does until the police appear.”
Campos acknowledges that she has discussed what to do during an active shooter situation in the past with her children but believes the book to be insensitive and inappropriate given the current social climate. She remarked, “We are not going to make active shooter drills cute,” and feels as though the book’s timing was especially concerning given its release coinciding with the one-year anniversary of a deadly school shooting.
DISD issued an apology to concerned parents stating: “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. We apologize for the confusion and are thankful to parents who reached out to assist us in being better partners.”
Campos urges schools to teach children about active shooter protocols in a more sensitive and appropriate manner and believes that parents should be provided with appropriate guidance and context when distributing such material. While Campos has posted her concerns on an Oak Cliff parents page, there are no reports of any other Texas districts distributing similar books.