By Lizzie Sider, Jamie O'Neal, Lisa Drew, Jimmy Murphy
Lizzie is a country music singer/songwriter, who experienced verbal teasing and ridiculing from other children in elementary school. Her song, “Butterfly” tells her story and how she overcame her situation. Lizzie is passionate about helping raise awareness about bullying, and trying to effect change.
After watching “Butterfly,” share the discussion questions with your student audience. Download Butterfly Discussion Questions
Bullying is a huge problem right now. Whether it's verbally or physically, many kids are getting effected one way or another.
I went through it to some degree when I was in elementary school. I attended a small school, so there weren’t many choices for friends. I liked my school very much, and had a good relationship with my teachers, but some of the kids were really mean to me and it affected me deeply. I was excluded from games, playing at recess, and at lunch. Also, knowing that I loved to sing, they’d ask me to sing for them (and naively I’d do so) and then they’d make fun of me and run away. Many days, I came home crying, begging to be homeschooled. Each year, my parents would tell me that next year will surely be better because the kids would mature and grow out of it, but that never happened.
Luckily, outside of school, things were different for me. I was happy, easily got along with people and had some great friends. Also, I had interests and outlets - theater, singing, piano, dance and sports.
One day on the way to school, I believe it was in 4th grade, my dad said to me, "Nobody has the power to ruin your day." After years of talking about this, that phrase finally hit home and I began to understand, and I started to find the strength to overcome the teasing.
But my school life transformed when I switched schools in 6th grade. I made some great friends and for the first time in my life, looked forward to going to school every day! There were times when I still doubted myself, or felt inadequate (and I know it was because of the damage caused in elementary school), but I have learned to move on and feel free.
I wrote “Butterfly” about my experience, and about finding the strength to rise above the teasing and the nasty behavior. Every time I sing Butterfly on stage, I tell the story behind the song. I hope that Butterfly will inspire other kids that have been knocked down, and that it will help give them the courage and the strength to rise up and to overcome whatever mistreatment or misfortune they have experienced.
I feel truly blessed to have had the love and support of my parents every step of the way, and I realize that not all kids are as fortunate. I am passionate about doing whatever I can to be a positive role model for kids, bring awareness about bullying, and make a difference.
I am proud to be a spokesperson for GWEN (Global Women’s Empowerment Network), ImBullyFree.org, Bullyville.com and PACER Teens Against Bullying, as well as being a Junior Board Member of The Alliance for Eating Disorders.
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Connect with Lizzie
- Website: http://www.lizziesider.com
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lizziesidermusic
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LizzieSider