Childhood jingles evoke memories from the most transformative time in our lives and the lives of our children. We can all remember the old classics like The ABC’s, Old McDonald Had a Farm and The Wheels on the Bus. Pause for a moment and reflect on when you last heard Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Remember the catchy melody and enjoy the words.
How I Wonder
What You Are
Up Above the World So High
Like a Diamond in the Sky
How I Wonder
What You are
Now, imagine that same childhood classic melody with the following words:
Lock the door
Shut the lights off
Say no more
Go behind the desk and hide
Wait until it’s safe inside
It’s all done
Now it’s time
To have some Fun!
The first time I sang that song to myself, I cried. I felt stunned and angry that we have come to this moment in our country where our youngest and most vulnerable children are learning songs to ease the pain and fear of active shooter drills or worse, actual intruders. Imagine, how parents felt when they went to orientation for their rising Kindergarten student and saw this on the bulletin board:
Georgy Cohen, a Massachusetts mom posted this message on Twitter and within one day she had over 89,000 responses. Georgy’s post went viral very quickly fueled by disbelief and outrage that this was even possible.
In a recent interview, Georgy Cohen said “To be shocked by it is important. To see that absurdity and horror and have that sick feeling in your stomach is important,” Cohen said. “Stay outraged. And if it gets somebody to do something — to give money to an organization or to call their representatives … then great, I think that that’s important.”
In my heart, I do believe the teacher was doing his/her best to shield her students from the fear of having to practice “Active Shooter” or “Lockdown” drills in school. Poems and songs are wonderful tools to teach important concepts. The concern is not what the teacher did, but why it had to be done in the first place. WHY???? Why is this our new normal? Why are our schools under siege? Why do I come to school every day and wonder if this is the day?
Violence is a health issue; a public health crisis and it is infecting all sectors of our population. Will you be part of the change to create a world where nursery rhymes are not about hiding until it’s safe to come out and play? Join #NursesDemandAction. You can learn more about this grassroots effort by visiting www.relentlessschoolnurse.com