A mother of a soon-to-be-kindergartener tweeted a poster that quickly went viral, conjuring Sandy Hook and serving as an indictment of American gun culture.
A mother in Somerville, Massachusetts, shared a heart-breaking poster on social media, a poster that hangs in the classroom her daughter will soon be attending in public school. The image instantly resonated on social media and brings a new voice to the Second Amendment debate.
Georgy Cohen, whose website describes her as a “content strategist and digital communications consultant,” tweeted a picture of the image on June 6, accompanied by the sentiments, “This should not be hanging in my soon-to-be-kindergartener’s classroom.”
The colorful, handwritten poster — which recalls the meter of “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” — reads as follows.
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!”
“That’s to the tune of the alphabet song, and Twinkle Twinkle… what a horrifying contribution to the songbook,” said Margot Bloomstein on Twitter about the lockdown song being implemented in the kindergartners’ classroom.
Cohen later clarified that she feels the school’s measures are appropriate and that her post was meant as a cultural comment on the necessity of such a measure.
“I’m only going to add one more comment to this: the school is doing exactly what they need to be doing, and I am glad for it. 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.”
According to USA Today, there has been at least 20 school shootings this year, leading to many Americans wanting current laws tightened or changed in relation to gun supply and usage.
However, while the lockdown song may be a horrifying reminder of the number of recent school shootings, it also needs to be remembered that up until a massive fire in 1958 at Our Lady of the Angels school in Chicago that killed 92 children, parents didn’t feel the need for fire drills at schools.
Since that was implemented, according to the National Fire Protection Association, no other school fire has killed more than 10 individuals and, on average, only 1.5 people per year died on “education property” from 1980 to 2005. And, in those instances, most of these victims were adults or “juvenile firesetters” who were on school grounds after hours.
And, as one user added on Twitter, some adults might also remember nuclear bomb drills that were a part of some schools in the 1980s.
Active-shooter and lockdown drills have been implemented in American schools since 1999 after the Columbine massacre, according to The Atlantic. For younger children, such as kindergartners, sometimes a “bear attack” is used in replacement of an active shooter. However, questions have been raised over the psychological damage that can be caused by drills such as these.
Colleen Derkatch is an associate professor at Ryerson University in Toronto and studies how people assess risk when it comes to their health.
“The more prepared we are, the more heightened our sense of risk,” she revealed to The Atlantic. “And one potential effect we haven’t considered is how these kinds of preparedness activities affect kids psychologically and could increase a sense of feeling at risk. They really expand the ways in which we feel increasingly under siege.”
While it may be imperative that children are prepared for things such as lockdowns, it becomes an increasing issue as to how prepared is too prepared in relation to the psychological development of young minds, especially those of kindergartners and other young children.
The school that created the lockdown rhyme for their kindergartners has not been publicly identified and district officials have confirmed it was the “work of one teacher and is not used across all of the city’s schools.”
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