Parent video protesting state budget cuts goes viral

The viral online campaign spawned by Wonderland’s “Hot for Teachers” video and the state PTA also garnered extensive coverage by a number of area newspapers and television stations.

As Wonderland’s experience shows, the combination of online outreach with more traditional grassroots organizing techniques can be powerful.

The innovative twist of telling the story through humor helped ensure an audience, along with the star power of Green, a Wonderland PTA parent, and Fox.

While humor is always risky, and has the potential to offend or fall flat, a more traditional approach might not have resonated as well with parents or generated as much media interest.

Because most school PTAs don’t count Hollywood actors, producers, publicists, and script writers among their members, replicating Wonderland’s success might seem beyond reach. Yet most school districts have a host of uninhibited, creative high school students they could probably turn loose with equally impressive results.

Faced with devastating cuts nationwide, public school officials have little to lose and much to gain in using new information technologies to tell their stories more effectively. Enlisting parents and students in the effort is a good place to start.

Award-winning eSchool News columnist Nora Carr is the chief of staff for North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools.

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