VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - A Jackson County school turned the latest Internet craze into a lesson about good character. Vancleave High School held its own "Ice Bucket Challenge" Wednesday. The event was part of a school wide campaign to promote positive behavior among students.
"Everybody ready?" a young man shouted.
The crowd erupted in cheers as they watched their assistant principal brace for the big chill.
"It's a little hot out here, but I don't know if it's the heat or because of what's getting ready to happen," said Dr. John Mundy.
Mundy was nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by the Vancleave High Student Council.
"I found that the challenge kind of lost meaning. They were just doing it. So I was like, give people an incentive to raise money for it, so what better way than to douse the vice principal?" said Vancleave High Student Council President Reese Brune.
"The first challenge was for $800 and I told them I wasn't cheap, that I'd go for $1,000," said Mundy.
The students beat that goal by raising $1,132. So, the entire school got to witness Mundy endure a sudden gush of freezing water.
"That was the best part of it all. I didn't think he was actually going to go through with it," said Reese.
"I think it was pretty funny. He's usually a serious guy in the work place, but seeing him up there enjoying, having fun with the students is pretty nice," said senior Jhailynd Philpot.
When asked how he felt, Mundy replied, "Cold! But it was worth it."
The chilly challenge ties-in to the school's "Character Counts Campaign." Every Wednesday, a team of students put on a skit to promote one of the six pillars of the program.
"You must be a leader who is trustworthy, responsible, caring, fair, a good citizen and respectful," one student announced over the intercom.
They also spotlight students who are caught doing good deeds, and students are rewarded for good behavior, like getting free Popsicles.
"Here at Vancleave, we really don't have a lot of bullying because of this, so that's a good factor of it," said senior Clint Davis.
That's why Vancleave High holds events like the bucket challenge, to create a caring school community.
"We encourage students to be better citizens, and I think this program here will be a part of that, encouraging them to invest in other people, and also be part of the global economy because they're supporting research," said Mundy.
The funds will be donated to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa. The Vancleave students also issued a challenge to high schools in Long Beach, Biloxi, and St. Martin to raise money for ALS.