Winnie-the-Pooh book teaches Texas children to ‘run, hide, fight’ in school shooting

Credit: AP

US schoolchildren are being given a Winnie-the-Pooh cartoon book that teaches them how to “run, hide, fight” if they find themselves involved in a school shooting.

Parents and teachers in Texas have raised concerns after pupils as young as four-years-old were given the book, which details what to do if a gunman enters their school building.

The Stay Safe book, produced by a law enforcement consulting firm in Houston, is not an official production and uses a cartoon of Winnie-the-Pooh after the fictional character was put in the public domain in January 2022.

The subtitle for the unofficial book reads: “If there is danger, let Winnie-the-Pooh and his Crew show you what to do: Run, Hide, Fight.”

The book features the well-known bear and other characters from the Hundred Acre Wood - including Piglet, and Eeyore the donkey - created by AA Milne and illustrator EH Shepard in the 1920s.

The pages inside show cartoons of the woodland animals and reads: “If it is safe to get away, we should RUN like Rabbit instead of stay… If danger is near, do not fear, HIDE like Pooh does until the police appear.”

Another page shows a kangaroo wearing boxing gloves and reads: "If danger finds us don't stay, run away. If we can't get away, we have to FIGHT with all our might."

Run, hide, fight are the tactics advised by the FBI “should the unthinkable occur”.

The controversial book was reportedly distributed around the first anniversary of the mass shooting in Uvalde, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed in their classrooms.

"I found it extremely disturbing, and was very uncomfortable with the whole contents of the book," one Dallas-area teacher told the Guardian.

"It's a year since Uvalde, and nothing has been done other than this book."

A girl places a flower on a memorial one year after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Credit: AP

Texas has some of the loosest gun laws in the US and has been the site of numerous mass shootings in recent years.

Earlier this month, a gunman killed eight people and wounded seven others in a shooting at a Dallas-area mall that sent hundreds of shoppers fleeing in panic.

Last month, two cheerleaders were shot and wounded in a Texas supermarket car park after one of them said she mistakenly got into the wrong car thinking it was her own.

In March, a three-year-old girl fatally shot her four-year-old sister at their Texas home after finding a loaded gun while the siblings had been left unsupervised.

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