Issaquah High School students took to YouTube this week to defend their school following media reports about “May Madness” – an online tournament in which 64 female students are pitted against each other based on their sex appeal.
“With our new, negative reputation, we have taken it upon ourselves to highlight the great students and great accomplishments and the truth about 'May Madness,'” said senior Emma Watanabe, introducing the video.
Several local and national news outlets, including KING 5, have reported on "May Madness" this week.
The underlying message from students was that Issaquah High School has much more to offer than the tournament and that the controversy is giving students a bad reputation.
“Now that the media has taken this situation and blown it out of proportion, girls like myself who are intelligent and have a lot of integrity are being portrayed as the sluts of Issaquah High School by the media and guys that are really great are being shown as the pigs who go on and vote for these girls, and I don’t think I deserve that reputation. I don’t think other students deserve that reputation and our school certainly does not either,” said Olivia Marcus, a junior.
Senior Sam Carson said "May Madness" lasts just a week and is then forgotten about. Junior Joshua Zhou said he quit playing it after seeing how it affected some girls at the school.
The students highlighted positive things they have done which haven’t been reported, such as making a human American flag to honor veterans, wearing pink in the stadium stands to raise awareness for Breast Cancer and collecting food to donate to charities.
“And now, all of that charity work and good stuff we’ve done doesn’t even matter because of "May Madness,” said junior Paige Montague.
“(The media) failed to recognize the school for it’s extremely positive accomplishments,” said Carson.