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‘Lockdown, lockdown, lock the door.’ Kindergarten nursery rhyme teaches shooter drill

A Boston-area school’s rewrite of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” hanging in a kindergarten classroom to prepare kids for school shooter lockdowns sparks surprise and disgust online. A mom posted a photo of the revised lyrics to Twitter.
A Boston-area school’s rewrite of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” hanging in a kindergarten classroom to prepare kids for school shooter lockdowns sparks surprise and disgust online. A mom posted a photo of the revised lyrics to Twitter. Twitter

Georgy Cohen was touring her five-year-old daughter’s future kindergarten classroom Wednesday when she saw something she didn’t expect.

On the wall of the Somerville, Mass., classroom were lyrics to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” except rewritten to teach kids about school shooter drills, Cohen wrote on Twittter.

She posted a photo to Twitter of a brightly colored poster in the classroom with the new lyrics:

“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,” Cohen wrote on Twitter. Her post has been retweeted nearly 18,000 times and received nearly 40,000 likes and 1,800 comments.

“It’s jarring,” Cohen, who declined to name the school, told The Boston Globe. “When I was in kindergarten, we had fire drills. It was different — we didn’t have these same types of threats.”

But Cohen told the Globe that she understands the need to teach children about school safety and security.

“These are the things they unfortunately have to do,” Cohen said. “I get it.”

Somerville Public School officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the poster, according to the publication.

Some people commenting on Cohen’s post found the rewritten song “horrifying” and “insane.” One called it “terrifyingly dystopian.”

Others, however, agreed with Cohen that there’s a need for such lessons.

“Until something more concrete is done to keep school shootings and such from happening, teachers have to do what they need to do to help keep their kids (and themselves) safe,” wrote one woman.

Cohen wrote on Twitter that her daughter has already been doing lockdown drills in her pre-k classes. “Z was excited about it as a game to see if you can stay quiet for ‘one whole minute,’ ” she wrote.

A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.

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