Horry County Schools not endorsing statewide vaccine jingle contest

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — In an effort to engage students K-12 and staff, the South Carolina Department of Education the Department of Health and Environmental control launched a statewide jingle competition. Students have the opportunity to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine campaign. 

The winning “Sing it to Wing it” jingle will be professionally recorded and featured on the radio in 2022. The winning school also receives $10,000 towards the school music program. The second place school will win, $5,000 for their school and the third place prize is $3,000. 

“This innovative jingle campaign is a way to get students involved and tap into their creativity,” South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said. “Music has a way of bringing people together and we are thrilled this program will also invest in school music programs.”

Even though the competition is voluntary, Horry County School administration and the Horry County Republican party do not agree with using children as a way to encourage people in the state to get the vaccine. 

The district’s administration said in a statement, “Horry County Schools respects a family’s right to make decisions about their children in matters pertaining to COVID-19 vaccines. Consequently, Horry County Schools does not endorse nor require student participation in this jingle competition established by the SCDE and the SCDHEC is totally voluntary.”  

Tracy Diaz, the state executive for the Horry County Republican party, said that even though the vaccine is emergency use authorized, it is still not FDA approved for all age groups. 

“So, now 12 and 13-year-olds are going to be singing a jingle for a medical treatment or drug that is not even FDA approved. They also can’t get the vaccine without the consent of a parent, the whole thing is disgusting,” Diaz said.

Diaz said that this is a waste of tax dollars, and there are underfunded programs statewide that need to be funded. 

Lisa Bourcier, a spokesperson for the district, said students can still participate in the contest on their own.

All submissions for the jingle competition need to be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Jan.31, 2022. A winner will be announced on Feb. 11. 

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