Olympia students' 'Lunch Scholars' video offers a lesson in social media

OLYMPIA - A video created by two Olympia High School journalism students intended as a comedy sketch turned into a bigger mass media lesson than they bargained for this week.

Austin Oberbillig and Evan Ricks produced ?Lunch Scholars? in the vein of Jay Leno?s ?Jay Walking? sketch series and asked fellow students (who signed a consent waiver) basic questions about history, geography and current events.

While the filmmakers say many had the correct answers, some were surprising - and those made the final cut.

A few days later a Huffington Post reporter used it to highlight some of the country?s education woes.

As of Friday afternoon, the video has been shared on Facebook nearly 13,000 times and spurred more thousands (mostly negative) comments.

The video was originally posted by the students on Vimeo, but they decided to take it down. It has since been resurrected on YouTube.

In a statement posted on the OHS student newspaper?s website , Ricks writes:

"Students found Jay Leno?s ?Jay Walking? videos funny and decided to make one of their own. As is natural for a comic bit, the creators edited in the funniest responses, with the students? consent. Though there were many correct answers to these pop questions, the comments in national forums concentrate on the negative, and, as usual, do not take into consideration the amount of editing it took to get these funny, incorrect answers. So, we are taking down our video. Thanks for thinking about this. It is an interesting lesson for all.".

Reporter Laura Hibbard uses the well-produced video as an intro into a breakdown of United States' poor international rankings in subjects like math and reading.

What Hibbard doesn?t say is Olympia High ranks as one of the best in the state in graduation rates, AP test results and SAT scores.

"It was intended for here in the school and when it got to be as big as it did, they felt like their fellow students were unfairly portrayed," said Olympia School District spokesman Ryan Betz. "I think the students are disappointed at how it made their school look."

Olympia High is the defending state champion in the 'Knowledge Bowl" competition.

Betz said the video was a major topic of discussion during journalism class at OHS this week.