In Somerville, Massachusetts, a classroom full of five-year-olds is learning a new twist on “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to respond to the threat of a school shooting.
The lyrics, lettered in bright colors and illustrated with friendly cartoons, 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!
One child’s parent, Georgy Cohen, first spotted the song on the wall on a tour of the school. She found the sight of it “jarring,” according to the Boston Globe. “When I was in kindergarten, we had fire drills. It was different – we didn’t have these same types of threats,” she said.
She shared the picture she took of the song online, saying, “This should not be hanging in my soon-to-be-kindergartener’s classroom.”
Her dismay was couched in support for the school’s decision, however: “The school is doing exactly what they need to be doing, and I am glad for it,” Cohen tweeted. “My issue is with the political & cultural factors that brought us to this sad state. Please talk to your legislators about the need for gun reform.”
The school itself has produced a statement in response to the whirlwind of publicity. “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,” it reads. “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.”
Superintendent Mary Skipper said that this is, unfortunately, “the world we live in” and regrets the “loss of innocence.”