As school shootings happen at the rate of more than one a week on average (and that’s just this year), schools across the country have been forced to do what they can to protect their kids from what often feels like an impending danger. Massachusetts resident Georgy Cohen learned one shocking detail of how one Somerville school is prepared their kindergarteners for lockdown drills when she visited her 5-year-old’s future classroom. She found a nursery rhyme taped to the blackboard that presented the basic instructions of what the children need to do in an active shooter situation in a cutesy, nursery rhyme-style song.
The song is set to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." The lyrics are the following: "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!"
“It’s jarring,” Cohen told The Boston Globe on Thursday. “When I was in kindergarten, we had fire drills. It was different, we didn’t have these same types of threats.” Cohen isn’t criticizing the school for inventing the song, and recognizes that its merely a tactic to protect the kids. "These are the things they unfortunately have to do,” Cohen said. “I get it."
“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,” Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Superintendent Mary Skipper said in a joint statement released to the Globe.
“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 in response to the viral attention her original tweet has received. “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.”
Another state has also come up with a new way to compensate for the increased threat of a school shooting: in May, New Hampshire lawmakers passed a bill that would provide teachers and public school employees with a $100,000 death benefit if they’re “killed in the line of duty.”