Top 40 country music star Lizzie Sider is just 15 years old, but what she lacks in years she makes up for in life experience – especially when it comes to being bullied.
Sider delivered a special message to students of Turlock's Julien Elementary School Thursday, sharing her experiences and her life-lessons for children who aren’t that much younger than she is. And, of course, Sider performed her top 40 hit “Butterfly,” a song inspired by her experience of being bullied.
Sider is currently on an 80-school Bully Prevention California assembly tour.
“When I was a little girl I was teased, excluded, called names and laughed at by other kids. I came home crying everyday and begged my parents to take me out of school, but then my dad told me something I will never forget – nobody has the power to ruin your day. We decide if other peoples' words or actions can affect how we feel about ourselves,” said Sider.
Sider then asked the entire school to close their eyes and raise their hand if they had ever been bullied, teased or excluded. Nearly every student in the school raised their hand. She then told them to open their eyes and they saw that everyone has been bullied in some way.
She encouraged students to stand up in defense of bullied children and not be bystanders.
“I know that sometimes it might not be the cool thing to do to help someone who is bullying. But it is the right thing to do and it feels good to know you helped someone,” she said.
Julien Principal Linda Murphy-Lopes said every teacher at the school was given the lyrics to “Butterfly,” and many provided lessons on bullying using the message.
“This is exciting for the kids. They hear about bullying from parents and teachers all the time but this is an opportunity for the kids to hear it from someone else- someone they can look up to and isn’t much older than them. She is living her dream and the kids can see that they can make a difference,” Murphy-Lopes said.
Following the show one Julien student could control his enthusiasm for Lizzie Sider. – Photo: Jonathan McCorkell