To the editor:
Much has been made over the Lawrence High School/Free State High School lip dub “controversy.” In hopes of preventing further animosity, we’d like to suggest two lessons to be learned from it.
It’s known that while the FS lip dub was copied (and parodied), the original LHS lip dub was destroyed, but, sadly, how it was destroyed has not been fully disclosed. Yes, audio from LHS’ video was replaced, but more heinous was the insertion of homophobic text boxes over the video. We raise this issue primarily to reveal it, but also to suggest that while the lip dub mess was bad, the persistence of homophobia, particularly in our high schools, is worse.
Equally poisonous to the high school experience, specifically in the arts, is the perpetuation of rivalry. We’d like to believe FSHS was inspired by our video, not challenged by it (as was reported on 2/24 examiner.com). However, the constant back and forth of who did what first and when — or better — is detrimental to all. A creative atmosphere in the arts programs should be marked by informed critique and dialogue, not pointless rivalry.
High school isn’t always a place where every student finds acceptance. However, one thing both videos revealed is the joy created when as many diverse people as possible are involved in a similar endeavor and it’s to the credit of both schools’ film programs they accomplished this.
We hope that the community at large is equally accepting and open to supporting both high schools and all of their students — on and off the screen.