From their booming band to choir class, the students of Cooper High School have voices that demand to be heard. But when Katy Perry invited high schools to submit videos with their own rendition of her hit song “Roar,” this Abilene, Texas, school chose to focus on those without a voice.
“We were just like, ‘Why don’t we have people that are on the back burners, that don’t really have a voice. Why don’t we have them as the main characters in this?’” the video’s creator, Jasminh Abor, said.
The students hope their video will win them a performance by Katy Perry at their school.
They developed a concept in less than a week. Teacher Deborah Kirby said students in several classes were asked to write down something negative that they’d been told or felt.
The students held up each others’ signs, displaying their fears and insecurities like badges of honor.
The video shows the students displaying the signs, some of which read: “I am different”; “I am not like them”; “I am a freak”; “I am too fat”; “I will never be successful,” and “I should kill myself.”
Anthia Nibizi, a refugee from Africa, said the video shows that it is okay to be different.
“It’s boring when everyone is the same,” she told “Good Morning America.”
The video is also a metaphor for Cooper High’s local status. The school is often the underdog when it goes up against the rival high school in the town.
“People are always trying to put our school in a box and label us as something, and I think this video has just blown that wide open,” Kirby said.
The winning school will be announced on “GMA” Oct. 18. The pop star will perform at the winning school Oct. 25, and the concert will be broadcast live on “GMA.”