COEUR d'ALENE - Lake City High School students rallied against bullying and had fun in the process when the whole school came together to produce a lip-dub video Friday morning.
"Bullying isn't OK, it needs to stop," said LCHS student body vice president Nick Bogar, 17, of Coeur d'Alene. "That's the moral, the whole purpose of this. It only takes one person to stop bullying."
More than 1,400 students and 80 faculty members lip-synched to Katy Perry's "Firework" and "Happy" by Pharrell Williams as they danced, held anti-bullying signs and showcased their school spirit. A crew of Eric Edmonds' multimedia students filmed their way through the school, capturing the entire thing in a single shot. Juniors Tyler Briner, Brodie Larson and Quang "Matt" Ngo did a majority of the filming.
"That took a whole lot of planning. That was probably the hardest part," said Edmonds, who teaches multimedia and social studies. "The best part about it was having everyone in the school working toward a common goal, and they were excited about it."
A "lip-dub" combines lip-synching and audio dubbing to produce a music video. The LCHS student council came up with the idea after seeing other schools' lip-dubs on YouTube.
"We thought this would be a great tool to unite the school even more," Bogar said. This was the first time LCHS has attempted something like this.
"Our main message was, 'Stand up, speak up, it only takes one,'" said senior class representative Savannah Johnson, 17, of Coeur d'Alene. "Stand up for other people, speak up, don't be afraid. We want everybody to come in and feel like it's their second home."
The project took many hours of preparation as students walked through the school, timed the songs and choreographed each section before filming. Johnson said "Happy" and "Firework" were chosen for their positive nature.
"They have great messages. They're about being who you are," she said. "We figured since they're going to be showing this to elementary schools and stuff, we thought it would be cool if it had a song they would recognize."
Student council adviser Mallory Cook said the whole thing was a complete success.
"I just can't get over what an amazing experience this was," she said, adding that many of the students were anxious about doing it all in one shot. "It was just amazing how the kids stood up together, and we did it in one take, and it was impressive. Not only did we send the anti-bullying message, we actually united as one, and the kids took pride in their school, themselves, and what we can offer to our community."
The video featured enthusiastic students from LCHS sports teams, activities clubs and academic programs dressed in spirited attire, uniforms, costumes and any creativity they could dream up. Coeur d'Alene School District Superintendent Matthew Handelman also made a guest appearance.
"1,500 teenagers in any space terrifies adults," Edmonds said, expanding on students' impeccable behavior. "We've shown they can do great things, and we're really proud of them."
Edmonds said the LCHS anti-bullying, whole-school lip-dub should be uploaded to YouTube by Christmas.