A new story book will be used to educate primary school pupils in the UK about coping with a terror attack by telling them a story of a cat attacking a school of mice. The story book is the creation of a team of doctors behind the Citizenaid app, which advises users what to do and how best to help if there is an active gunman or knife attacker or a suspected or exploded bomb. ‘Moggy’s Coming’ uses the story of a cat’s attack on a school of mice to educate youngsters on the broader UK police message of “run, hide, tell” in the event of a terrorist attack.
“We are passionate about making sure what we learnt the hard way in the military does get into the civilian community, to wider benefit… If there are indiscriminate attacks in public places, children are part of the public and they will be swept up,” said Brigadier Tim Hodgetts, medical director of the Defence Medical Services, who has helped develop the book as part of the wider material for the public. “In secondary school, we have teacher-led discussions about a shooter in a school. It is very clear these are very unusual, very unlikely situations and it is about being prepared, not scared,” he said.
According to ‘The Times’, 500 teachers in Birmingham have been trained to use materials for schoolchildren produced by the group, including the new book.
The book tells the tale of a school of mice preparing in case of a cat attack, with teachers telling pupils to run, or if that is not possible hide, tell the police and treat injured classmates. It then shows them putting their preparation into practice when a cat turns up. It includes words that can be sung to the tune of the nursery rhyme ‘London’s Burning’: “Moggy’s coming, Moggy’s coming, we’re in danger, we’re in danger, run, hide and tell! Treat the hurt mice, treat the hurt mice!”.
It also features a poem, which includes the lines: “When it’s safe then treat the hurt/with a scarf or sock or shirt/you can pack a wound and press/to stop the bleeding for success!”.
Separate materials for slightly older children show a lion escaping from the circus and getting into a school where it scratches some pupils in the playground. Teachers are encouraged to discuss with their classes how it makes them feel, as well as the practical measures they might take in such a situation. From Birmingham, the message is expected to be taken UK- wide.
Chief Superintendent Jo Chilton, head of the National Ballistics Intelligence Service said: “The Citizenaid message is a critical one and has the full support of the National Firearms Independent Advisory Group. “I am acutely aware of the difference that ordinary people can make in the aftermath of an attack. It is reassuring to know that the young people of Birmingham are going to be empowered to do the right thing in these unlikely but possible scenarios as well as providing transferable skills for day-to-day life”.