A Massachusetts kindergarten class gets ready for safety drills by singing a “lockdown” song to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” shocking parents and leaving social media commentators outraged.
Georgy Cohen came upon a poster for the song Wednesday while she was touring a kindergarten classroom in Somerville.
She was so angered at what she saw, she took a photo and tweeted it.
The poster read:
- 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!
This should not be hanging in my soon-to-be-kindergartener’s classroom. pic.twitter.com/mWiJVdddpH
— Georgy Cohen (@radiofreegeorgy) June 6, 2018
“When I was in kindergarten, we had fire drills. It was different — we didn’t have these same types of threats,” Cohen told The Boston Globe in a telephone interview.
“These are the things they unfortunately have to do,” Cohen said. “I get it.”
Cohen said she was pleased that her tweet had struck a chord.
“To be shocked by it is important. To see that absurdity and horror and have that sick feeling in your stomach is important,” Cohen said. “Stay outraged. And if it gets somebody to do something — to give money to an organization or to call their representatives … then great, I think that that’s important.”
Rick Healey, Cohen’s husband, later said that after the shock passed, he could understand the rationale behind the song.
“I can understand why it was put to that song, to help kids understand it without panicking,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “It’s something a five-year-old can wrap their brain around without having the full meaning behind it apparent to them.”
Twitter users were not quite as philosophical about the song.
Jesus, that’s to the tune of the alphabet song, and Twinkle Twinkle… what a horrifying contribution to the songbook.
— Margot Bloomstein (@mbloomstein) June 6, 2018
This is honestly heartbreaking.
— Kristina Doyle (@kriskayoo) June 6, 2018
“And now it’s time to have some fun” This Literally makes me sick to stomach.
— ⛺️ (@hazelandbay) June 7, 2018
In a joint statement, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Superintendent Mary Skipper chalked up the song to “the world we live in.”
The statement said the poem was one teacher’s method to prepare children to be calm in an emergency.
“I think that this is a case where our educators are in a new reality, and they are doing the best they can across all different grade levels to ensure they keep students safe,” Skipper said later. “We regularly do our lockdown drills, and for our youngest students you have to age-appropriately introduce them to it.”
Skipper called the sign “creative,” but noted it “speaks to a loss of innocence.”
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