mcj-2021-04-07-news-school-vaccination-challenge

Aberdeen School District employees sing their COVID-19 vaccination rendition of Peaches and Herb's "Reunited" in launching the School District Vaccination Challenge.

ABERDEEN – Time will tell if it catches on like 2014’s viral Ice Bucket Challenge, but the Aberdeen School District threw down the gauntlet last week in challenging teachers and staff in other school districts to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Teachers, nurses and administrators posted a video through Aberdeen High School’s Facebook page singing a rendition of a 1978 soul classic to illustrate that they received their vaccinations. AHS Principal Dr. Dana Bullard came up with the idea.

“I was listening to music one day and heard ‘Reunited’ by Peaches and Herb, and it was right after I had gotten vaccinated. Then I started singing to myself, ‘Vaccinated, and it feels so good.’ So then I made up words and told my assistant principal, Sherell Drake, and she said, ‘Let’s get T-shirts made up,’” she said.

Drake chronicled her own progress in intervals for 36 hours after receiving her second vaccination through her Facebook Live, which led to eight people messaging her to say they took the vaccine because of her.

“That’s the same thing we’re trying to create amongst our colleague across the state and the nation that we trust each other and want to be a part of the solution,” she said. “As a culture of educators, we trust each other. If it’s good for me, if it’s safe for me, it’s definitely good for our fellow colleagues. It’s definitely a way to get others on board.”

Bullard said the point of the video wasn’t just to challenge staff at other school districts to get vaccinated but to show they’re fine after receiving their shots.

“As educators, we have to consider that we do not want to spread this to our kids and we want to be protected so we can work. Even if one of them gets sick, we know we’re protected and we can continue to provide educational services for our kids,” Bullard said.

The video was shared to Facebook pages for Mississippi Professional Educators, education consulting group PREPS and Mississippi Teachers Matter, which led to emails from other educators who want to accept the School District Vaccination Challenge.

“We’ll be coming back into a traditional school setting in a few months in August and we want to encourage our colleagues across the state and the nation about the importance of being vaccinated,” she said.

The ASD will make another video to include additional teachers who received their vaccinations, but the song is undetermined.

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