Aussie parents be thankful we don’t live in America

As a mother of a pre-schooler I’m currently having a debate with myself, and my husband, over whether or not our daughter is ready to go to prep next year.

She turns four in July, just 16 days past the cut-off date for 2014 babies, so would be an ‘early enrolment’.

She is a clever cookie: can write her name, recognises most letters, can count to 30 and talks the leg off a chair.


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Our biggest concern is her maturity and whether she deserves an extra year of play-based learning through kindergarten and at home with us and her little brother.

We’ve found a school we love that’s outside our catchment, but not impossible for us to get into.

We do not have to consider, nor are we worried about, the school’s security or procedures in case of a shooting.

Unlike our American counterparts, Australian parents do not have to watch the news week after week and hear about a shocking massacre at one of our schools.

And then convince our kids, they should keep going to school. That it’s safe.

This was the confronting reality for the mother of a 5-year-old girl in Massachusetts.

Georgy Cohen took to Twitter this week to share a photo of a nursery rhyme that she found taped to the chalk board of the school her daughter might attend.

It is to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, but instead uses words to help teach the kids what to do in the case of a shooting.

It is simply heartbreaking and Georgy believes “should not be hanging in my soon-to-be kindergartner’s classroom”.

The photo and caption sparked a huge debate, forcing the mother to explain she isn’t angry that the school has gone to lengths to teach the kids how to stay safe, but the fact that such measures need to be taken at all.

“The school is doing exactly what they need to be doing, and I am glad for it,” Georgy wrote in a follow-up post overnight.

“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.”

I know Australia isn’t perfect, and we have a way to go on bullying and the education system in general.

But I know we don’t send our kids off each day with the worry they’ll either be confronted by a person wielding a gun, or face the horror of watching their classmates die right before their eyes.

And for that, I am thankful.

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