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'Stop! Sanitize!' Alabama principal parodies MC Hammer ahead of students' return to school amid coronavirus

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 8/3/2020 Jordan Culver, USA TODAY
a screen shot of a person: Alabama school principal Quentin Lee created a parody video of MC Hammer's  “U Can’t Touch This" to show students and families what to expect as children return to class amid coronavirus. © Quentin Lee, YouTube Alabama school principal Quentin Lee created a parody video of MC Hammer's  “U Can’t Touch This" to show students and families what to expect as children return to class amid coronavirus.

With schools in certain states starting to open for in-person learning amid the coronavirus pandemic, Alabama principal Quentin Lee wanted to make sure the more than 300 students at Childersburg High got the message about the school's new restrictions.

In a musical parody of MC Hammer's “U Can’t Touch This,” Lee shows how the school is looking to keep kids safe. 

Water fountains? Doorknobs? Vending machines? Can’t touch this. Students are also told to social-distance, and Lee is seen with a no-contact thermometer. The song ends with a “Stop! Sanitize!” to drive the point home. Lee, who stars in the video along with a teacher and three other students, said the idea “just really stuck.” 

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“Basically, just really wanted to do something fun for back-to-school to kind of reinforce a lot of the new things we’re having to do,” said Lee, who is entering his fourth year as principal at Childersburg. “I like making little silly videos for the kids, just to kind of get them excited about school. I wanted to something to help promote the community.” 

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The video took a little over an hour to shoot, Lee said. It was shot and edited by Jaylen Mitchell, film director at CityVizualz. It includes students Zay, Jaden, and Aniyah, and the school's cheerleading coach, Jessica Veazey. 

“I was just thinking about, with school starting back, and with me being a principal, there’s a lot of things that (students) just can’t touch,” Lee said. “We wanted to do something fun, but with a serious message.”

He added: “On top of that, it’s MC Hammer. Who doesn’t love MC Hammer?” 

Replay Video

Lee has posted videos to get messages to his students before. In May, Lee posted “a song of hope, encouragement, and joy regarding COVID-19.”

It was mostly him playing the piano and screaming in agony. That video has been viewed more than 20,000 times. Lee said he also created a song called “Bodak Snow” – a parody of Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” – in honor of a snow day. 

“It’s just fun,” Lee said with a laugh. “It’s just really fun.” 

Talladega County School District is set to welcome students back to school Aug. 20. The district will operate under a “Blended Learning Model,” separating students into two groups for a hybrid of remote learning and in-person classes. One group will be in person Mondays, Tuesdays and alternating Wednesdays. The other group will take the remaining weekdays. 

Lee said he also has students doing a virtual academy. 

“We’re always looking out for the safety and well-being of our students,” Lee said. “COVID-19 is definitely something that’s effecting us all, but we’ve got to make sure that with the decision made for us to go back to school, we’ve got to follow our protocols and our guidelines to try to help ensure safety. 

“As an educator, I still have a charge to give my students what they need in terms of education. I don’t want students missing these opportunities for an education.” 

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Stop! Sanitize!' Alabama principal parodies MC Hammer ahead of students' return to school amid coronavirus

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