DALLAS – A public expression of regret has been issued by the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) in response to parental consternation regarding the unexpected distribution of a children’s book with a disturbing theme. The book, an unanticipated inclusion in the backpacks of elementary school students, held no preceding notice nor guidance, leaving parents unprepared for its alarming content.
The book, nestled within the comforting milieu of the cherished children’s characters from Winnie the Pooh, introduced an unsettling subject – procedures to be followed during a school shooting. A Dallas parent, Cindy Campos, described her surprise and dismay at discovering the book in her young son’s schoolbag. The ostensibly pleasant reading material had a profoundly disconcerting undertone, which left her not only disconcerted but also deeply moved.
Apologies were subsequently extended by DISD, acknowledging the lapse in providing necessary contextual information accompanying the book’s distribution.
Campos, a mother of two boys attending Leslie A. Stemmons Elementary School, branded the book as tone-deaf. “It’s sad that we’re normalizing it with a Winnie the Pooh book,” she lamented.
Entitled “Stay Safe: Run, Hide, Fight,” the picture book utilizes Winnie the Pooh characters to underscore the potential actions in the event of an on-campus active shooter scenario. Campos confessed that the book’s arrival, with no preface or warning, had blindsided her, particularly the gut-wrenching introductory page that read, “‘You’re braver than you think, stronger than you look, and smarter than you think.'”
Further intensifying the mother’s distress was her son Bowie’s bewilderment and confusion upon reading the unsettling instructions to “Run like a bunny, hide like a pooh, and fight like Kanga and Roo do.”
The decision to send this book home coinciding with the first anniversary of a devastating school shooting incident, where 19 children and 2 teachers lost their lives, struck Campos as particularly insensitive. “We’re not going to make active shooting drills pretty,” he commented with stern conviction.
While Campos refrained from attributing blame to his son’s teachers, he was resolute in seeking clarity on this matter. In response to an inquiry by FOX 4, DISD expressed their regret over the incident, acknowledging their failure in providing appropriate guidance or context to parents.
In Campos’ view, the lack of instructional guidance accompanying the book was a peculiar oversight. Nevertheless, the school district affirmed their commitment to school safety, emphasizing their continuous efforts in conducting active shooter drills and implementing preventive measures against potential threats.
Campos expressed his concerns on a local parent page, revealing that other parents were equally apprehensive. He also noted that while other DISD schools had received the book, there was no information about other Texas districts distributing similar material.