WASHINGTON: Tut, tut, it looks like another school shooting.
Winnie-the-Pooh and the other inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood have been enlisted to provide advice to American children on what to do in case of one of the campus attacks that plague the nation.
The beloved “bear of very little brain” and other characters provide security recommendations in a book called “Stay Safe” published by a company called Praetorian Consulting.
The book's distribution to elementary school children in a school district in Dallas, Texas, was first reported this week by Oak Cliff Advocate magazine.
The report said some parents had expressed concerns about the book on a Facebook group and believed they should have been informed beforehand that it was being given to their children.
The book's appearance comes a year after a school shooting in the Texas town of Uvalde left 19 children dead.
“If there is danger, let Winnie-the-Pooh and his crew show you what to do,“ the book says on the cover along with the words “Run, Hide, Fight.”
To run, hide or fight is the advice given by security experts to victims of a mass shooting.
The Houston-based Praetorian Consulting said on its website that the book is part of its “Stay Safe” curriculum “created by active Texas police officers and teachers.”
“The sole purpose of the Stay Safe learning system is to teach children how to remain safe and protect themselves should a dangerous school intrusion take place,“ it said.
The book provides safety advice in rhyming verse alongside colorful pictures of Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo and other characters.
“If danger is near, do not fear. Hide like Pooh does until the police appear,“ one page advises with a picture of Pooh hiding in a honey pot.
“If it is safe to get away, we should run like Rabbit instead of stay,“ it adds.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States, was among those who voiced scorn over the book's publication.
“Winnie the Pooh is now teaching Texas kids about active shooters because the elected officials do not have the courage to keep our kids safe and pass common sense gun safety laws,“ Newsom tweeted.
Winnie-the-Pooh entered the public domain in 2022. The author of the series, A.A. Milne, died in 1956. - AFP