Parent Spots 'Jarring' Lockdown Rhyme in Kindergarten Room

'To be shocked by it is important,' says parent Georgy Cohen
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2018 7:55 AM CDT
Kindergarten's Rhyming Lockdown Poster Shocks
A stock photo of a kindergarten classroom.   (Getty Images)

It reads just like a nursery rhyme, but the subject is a very mature one. "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!" Georgy Cohen spotted a poster featuring those words, ostensibly used to teach children what to do in case of a lockdown drill, during a Wednesday tour of the Boston-area kindergarten her 5-year-old will attend. She described it as "jarring," per the Boston Globe. "When I was in kindergarten, we had fire drills. ... We didn't have these same types of threats." But Cohen says she understands teachers are only trying to keep kids safe. "These are the things they unfortunately have to do," and "to be shocked by it is important."

Shock was certainly the reaction of some of the 33,000 people who shared Cohen's tweeted photo of the poster, written in multiple colors and adorned with cartoon actions. Yet lockdown drills should hardly come as a surprise, with nine in 10 public schools training students and teachers to respond to an active shooter, Vox reports. After the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., state lawmakers even made it mandatory for schools to hold mass shooting drills twice a year. In the case of the unidentified Somerville school where Cohen spotted the poster, "we regularly do our lockdown drills, and for our youngest students you have to age-appropriately introduce them to it," Superintendent Mary Skipper tells the Globe. She added the poster was something created by the teacher and does not appear in all kindergarten classes. (More Massachusetts stories.)

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