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High schools join forces for PSA

Students from Stillwater, Woodbury and East Ridge high schools have joined forces to film a public service announcement about the dangers of texting and driving.

High school rivalries can get heated at times. But for one project, three rival high schools will be coming together for a good cause -- a public service announcement.

Stillwater Area High School is joining forces with Woodbury and East Ridge high school football teams, cheerleaders and fans to film a public service announcement with the message of "don't text and drive."

"We came up with this idea and it turned into this huge beast," said Debbie Drew, a video production teacher at Stillwater Area High School.

Representatives of all three schools participated in the public service announcement shoot at East Ridge on Monday, Oct. 25.

The PSA will be entered into an AAA Auto Club video contest next April.

Students will be responsible for filming, editing, producing, directing and acting in the public service announcement.

Drew and students in her "Cutaway Productions" class at Stillwater Area High School have been participating in the public service announcement contest through AAA Auto Club for the past several years.

Last year, the group won first place.

Drew said getting the message across of "don't text and drive" is very important, especially when it is coming from peers.

"Teens think they are indestructible, but if you hammer them over the head with something long enough, maybe something will sink in," Drew said.

Student made, student run

Drew said her film class also helps students learn about the business of film production.

The students who take the class work with clients, produce products and keep the class functioning through money charged for services.

"It's not your typical class," Drew said.

The students in "Cutaway Productions" are those who have excelled in Drew's introductory video production class.

The advanced class allows students to "get a taste of what it's like to work in the real world," Drew said.

A collaboration of students

In their filmmaking effort, the high school students have received some assistance from the Minnesota School of Business. The college is lending the class its video and editing equipment for the commercial.

The premise of the PSA involves a football game between the Woodbury and East Ridge football teams.

As soon as the ball goes into play, the receiver takes out his phone and starts texting and he gets hit in the head with the ball. Chaos ensues.

The message of the public service announcement is: "texting doesn't belong on the field, texting doesn't belong on the road."

Continued collaboration

Drew said her experience with the other two high schools, and the Minnesota School of Business, has been nothing short of positive.

"It's been great," she said.

Drew said she likes the idea of further collaboration among the students interested in video production from the area high schools.

"We would like to continue working with everyone," she said. "It's been a wonderful partnership."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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