A mother who visited her soon-to-be kindergartner’s classroom in Somerville this week tweeted her shock over a sing-song nursery rhyme teaching kids how to respond in a lockdown — which city leaders are defending as a sober reminder of the reality in schools across the nation.
Georgy Cohen tweeted an image of the rhyme, writing that “this should not be hanging” in the classroom and added “but I, like most of you, have congressional representatives I can call to advocate for gun reform. Or we can support orgs like @Everytown and @SandyHook.”
The rhyme, a play on the classic “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” reads:
“Lockdown, lockdown, Lock the door,
“Shut the lights off, Say no more.
“Go behind the desk and hide. Wait until it’s safe inside.
“Lockdown, Lockdown it’s all done. Now it’s time to have some fun!”
City officials commended the unidentified teacher for being “creative” and lamented the need to take such steps to protect children from violence.
“As much as we would prefer that school lockdowns not be a part of the educational experience, unfortunately this is the world we live in,” Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Superintendent of Schools Mary Skipper said in a joint statement. “It is jarring — it’s jarring for students, for educators, and for families. Students in Somerville and across the country know how unnatural this is, as evidenced by their vocal leadership and advocacy this year in response to continuing school shootings. Yet we all know that one of the most important roles we have as educators and community leaders is to ensure that all of our students and staff members are safe and prepared in case of an emergency. So just like school fire drills, lockdown drills have sadly become a common practice in schools, and educators do everything they can to reduce students’ anxiety and stress so that they remember what to do in a real situation. This poem is an example of how one of our educators used a rhyme to help her young students stay calm and remember the key steps they would need to follow during a drill or real emergency.”
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, told the Herald, “It is really sad commentary on where we are in America. It is time for lawmakers to stand up to gun lobbyists so students and teachers don’t have to stand up to gunmen.”