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Parents react to lockdown nursery rhyme

Parents of students at Arthur D. Healey School in Somerville, Massachusetts have mixed emotions after seeing a teacher's poem that explains what students should do during a school shooting.

Posted: Jun 9, 2018 11:47 AM
Updated: Jun 9, 2018 11:49 AM

As Rick Healey and his wife were taking a tour of the kindergarten class where their 5-year-old girl will go to school next fall, they came across a poem that stopped them in their tracks.

Lockdown, Lockdown

Lock the door

Shut the lights off

Say no more

The lyrics are plastered on a white piece of paper in large, colorful markers in Ms. Kim's class at Arthur D. Healey School in Somerville, Massachusetts.

"I recognize the necessity of it, I know why it's necessary, but it upsets me and disgusts me that it is necessary," Healey told CNN. (He's not related to the person the school is named for.)

Healey's wife, Georgy Cohen, posted a photo of the poem and tweeted: "This should not be hanging in my soon-to-be kindergartner's classroom."

The many steps schools are taking

With an average of one attack a week this year alone, school shootings are now a reality students and teachers live with. And school officials are trying to tackle the danger however they can.

In Pennsylvania, a middle school handed out bullet-resistant shields. Louisiana now allows kids to carry bulletproof backpacks in the halls. And in California, students fed up with lawmakers' inaction took matters into their own hands by writing their own gun control bill.

Somervile Mayor Joseph Curtatone and School Superintendent the poem in Kim Conley's class 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."

"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," they said in a statement to CNN. "It is jarring -- it's jarring for students, for educators, and for families."

The painful feelings it brings up

Go behind the desk and hide

Wait until it's safe inside

Healey said reading the poem reminded him of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School -- his alma mater and the target of a February 14 shooting that left 17 dead and several others wounded.

Seeing the lyrics brought up "difficult, negative feelings," he said.

Since 2009, the US has seen 57 times as many school shootings as six other industrialized nations combined.

The fear is so pervasive that last month, students around the nation shared a hashtag "#IfIDieInASchoolShooting, offering a woeful glimpse into the sense of apparent inevitability that someday soon, they'll be felled by bullets on campus.

This is the new normal

A few weeks ago, Cohen said their daughter came home, excited to share a fun game she played with her pre-K class: try to stay quiet for one whole minute, just like during a lockdown.

"This shouldn't be something that we get used to," Cohen said. "We need to keep being jarred, upset and shook."

As Healey and Cohen talked to CNN, their daughter was cheerfully playing with Legos, unaware of how conversations of guns, shootings, lockdowns and fear have become so commonplace.

Lockdown, Lockdown

it's all done

Now it's time to have

some fun!

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 767409

Reported Deaths: 13980
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1054251805
Lake569191030
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St. Joseph37313568
Hamilton37298426
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Tippecanoe23479230
Vanderburgh23201405
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Union73610
Ohio58111
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1123964

Reported Deaths: 20490
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1304331493
Cuyahoga1172542263
Hamilton824421261
Montgomery535421062
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Butler40000614
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Trumbull16801492
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Medina15861276
Greene15528254
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Portage13432218
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Allen12049245
Richland11740213
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Columbiana9204236
Muskingum9133137
Pickaway8750123
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Ashtabula7281179
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Scioto6701108
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Sandusky5488130
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Washington5371111
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Auglaize507487
Mercer491185
Shelby482797
Knox4614113
Madison447566
Ashland444898
Defiance438799
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Putnam4354104
Crawford4114111
Brown409662
Preble3949107
Logan392179
Clinton390766
Ottawa375881
Highland366068
Williams356678
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Guernsey330554
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Perry298850
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Henry277167
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Holmes2725102
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Adams249858
Gallia249850
Pike244737
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Hocking222963
Carroll201249
Paulding179942
Meigs151240
Monroe137945
Noble137739
Harrison115238
Morgan111624
Vinton87317
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