In June 2018, a Massachusetts mom named Georgy Cohen was visiting her child’s kindergarten class when a poster on the chalkboard caught her eye.
At first, the nursery rhyme, which was written in bright colors, looks like your standard children’s poem. But when Georgy read the poem carefully, she was shook. “This should not be hanging in my soon-to-be-kindergartener’s classroom,” she wrote on Twitter along with an accompanying photo of the poster.
As you’re about to see, this “nursery rhyme” hangs on the wall of the classroom to help prepare the kids for a lockdown, should the unthinkable take place. There have been 23 school shootings in the United States, and it’s only June. And according to the National Center for Education Statistics, nine out of 10 public schools are practicing various types of lockdown drills.
Georgy’s photo went viral with countless reactions across social media. Other parents, like Sana Bazzaz, believe the poster is actually helpful. “It’s not scary,” she says. “Just in case they really need to do it, the kids can rhyme to the song and do what’s needed to be done.”
Together, the mayor of Somerville and the school administration teamed up to release a statement about the controversial rhyme: “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. It is jarring – it’s jarring for students, for educators, and for families,” the statement read. “This poem is an example of how one of our educators used a rhyme to help her young students stay calm and remember the key steps they would need to follow during a drill or real emergency.”