The Dallas Independent School District has released a statement explaining why its students received the controversial book.
Cindy Campos’ five-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 when she learns it’s a tutorial on what to do when “danger approaches,” advising children to lock the door, turn off the lights and hide quietly, she My heart sank.
As they read the Stay Safe book together, Campos started crying and his son remained confused. His US school sent a text home with his students, without explanation or warning to parents.
“Since you’re reading a bedtime story, it’s hard to basically explain what the book is about in such a cute way when it’s not very cute,” Campos said. said.
She said her first-grade son, who attends the same elementary school in Dallas, Texas as her preschooler, also got the book last week. Posting about it in an online neighborhood group, she found that her children were worried about other parents who took the book home.
The Dallas Independent School District’s decision to send children home with the book has caused controversy. Gavin Newsom, Democratic Governor of California, tweeted, “Pooh is now teaching kids in Texas about the shootings. We have elected officials to keep kids safe and share common sense gun safety.” Because they don’t have the courage to pass laws,” he tweeted.
The response has been enough to justify the school district’s explanation, which said in a statement Friday that it “worked hard every day to prevent school shootings” by addressing online threats and improving security measures. there is,” he said. We also carry out active shooting training.
“Recently, a booklet was sent to homes so that parents can discuss with their children how to stay safe in such cases,” the school district said. “Unfortunately, we did not provide any guidance or background to parents. We apologize for any confusion and thank parents for helping us be better partners. I will.”
The statement did not specify how many schools and grades in the district received the books.
Campos said the book was “haunting” and that it came at a time when the state was celebrating the anniversary of the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde last year that killed 19 children and two teachers. He said it seemed particularly “tone deaf” to send the book home. school.
It also comes as the Republican-dominated legislature of Texas ended a legislative session that rejected virtually all proposals to tighten gun control. Passed a bill banning school libraries from placing books containing descriptions, illustrations, or sounds depicting sexual acts unrelated to the required school curriculum.
Active marksmanship training has become commonplace in U.S. schools, but there is disagreement as to whether it does more harm than good.
Campos said he disagreed with the intent of the book, but wished there had been a warning for parents to introduce the book to their children at the right time and in the right way. She said she has been discussing the school shooting with her children and that she may have chosen to wait to read to them until another attack occurred.
“I wish I had done it on my own time,” said Campos, who first spoke to the Oak Cliff Advocate.
The cover of the book reads, “Tell me what Pooh and his crew should do in case of danger.” It reads, “Don’t be afraid when danger approaches. Like Winnie the Pooh, hide until the police come. Doors must be locked and passage blocked. Lights must be turned off so as not to be seen.” ”
The book is published by Praetorian Consulting, a Houston-based safety, security, and crisis management training and services company.
The company did not respond to a message from The Associated Press seeking comment, but its website teaches officials the concept of “flee, hide, fight” the approach civilians should take to active-duty gunmen. It states that it uses age-appropriate teaching materials for this purpose. situation.
The company also notes on its website that the curriculum for K-6 (ages 5 to 12) will include the Winnie the Pooh character, now in the public domain and appearing in recent horror films. says it is being picked up.