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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, June 09, 2018 1:00 am

Nursery rhyme used for lockdown lesson

Washington Post

It's not unusual for the walls of a kindergarten classroom to be plastered with colorful posters. But a poster in a Somerville, Mass., school caught the attention of Georgy Cohen and her husband, Rick Healey – and it had nothing to do with ABCs or washing your hands. Handwritten in multicolored markers, the neat block print 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!

Accompanying the text were three images: a lock with a key in it, a hand turning off the lights and a person holding a finger to his lips. The words are set to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Healey told The Washington Post he and his wife were visiting the school this week as part of a tour for parents who plan to send their children to kindergarten in the fall. He said he was “saddened” to see the poster, but recognizes why the approach may be necessary in an era of school shootings. “It's something a 5-year-old can wrap their brain around without having the full meaning behind it apparent to them.”

In a joint statement, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper said the poem was an example of a teacher's strategy to “help her young students stay calm,” HuffPost reported.

“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.”