Disdain for a pop-culture icon fueled a wildly successful fundraising effort at Tenino High School.
Justin Bieber’s song “Baby” was to blare through the intercom at the school between every class period until the students raised $500 for their sister school in Ghana.
The plan to play “Baby” on repeat started Monday, and by Tuesday, $900 had been raised.
The song also played during two lunch hours along with the passing periods.
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“The whole idea is all in good fun and makes the kids think globally,” Geraldine Maxfield, a leadership teacher, said. “It’s about helping students in another country and another culture.”
Maxfield said one of her students thought up the idea to play Bieber’s music after the Thurston County school had an assembly about the needs of its sister school, Crossover International Academy in Ghana.
The sister school, which serves orphans, is facing a drought and will need assistance, Maxfield said.
“The area has a huge drought, so the high school is trying to make the kids not just think locally, but think globally,” Maxfield said. “We are trying to raise funds so we can get this school the necessary food it needs until the next growing season.”
The students chose to use Bieber’s song over another overplayed pop song, “Friday” by Rebecca Black. If the fundraiser had continued to Friday, Maxfield said, the school planned to switch to Black’s song.
On Monday, the constant sound of “Baby” was already impacting students who are not fans of Bieber’s music.
“Justin Bieber songs today at school … Gonna be torture for me … Good thing I’m bringing my ear plugs!” wrote Tenino High School student Conner Mitchell on Facebook.
He later added, “Well, today I wore my ear plugs to school, because they turned on Justin Bieber songs. Glad I didn’t hear anything, but I felt the boom during lunch.”
Other students said they enjoyed the tunes between class. “We do have students that will pay to keep it playing,” Maxfield said.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.