Country performer sings out against bullies at Kelly School (Tracy Press)
Published by Tracy Press
Oct. 11, 2013
Article by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Singing the praises of an end to bullying in schools, 15-year-old Lizzie Sider performed three songs, including her anti-bullying single “Butterfly,” before a capacity crowd at Kelly School on Wednesday, Oct. 9.
Sider, a rising sensation from South Florida, performed a free concert for two student assemblies in the school’s multipurpose room for third through eighth grades as part of an anti-bullying program. Tracy Unified School District is participating in a nationwide anti-bullying month during October.
The singer chose Kelly School as part of her 80-school concert tour across California and Florida that began on Monday and wraps up at the end of November.
Sider, an advocate to end bullying, co-wrote a song that speaks about her own experiences as a victim of bullying, called “Butterfly” The lyrics include: “Yeah, I let them keep me down / But look at me now. … They thought they knew me, plain and shy / But all along I was a butterfly.”
The Kelly School concert came about after Sider’s father, Don, sent an email to schools across California in late August, asking them if they would be interested in having the singer perform during the month of October.Don Sider, who was also at the performance, said the idea was for her to take her anti-bullying message directly to students.“Lizzie has a message to tell,” he said. “That’s why she wants to do what she’s doing — touch the lives of these kids.”He said his daughter was teased and ridiculed in grade school, and it was her music that got her through that difficult time in her life.Don Sider said the reaction to his proposal was overwhelming, and among those requesting a concert was Kelly School Principal Jeanine Wilson.
“I thought it would be a great message and the students would get inspired and follow her career,” Wilson said. “They could continue the message and fight this epidemic of bullying.”
Lizzie Sider sang three of her songs to the students, including “Butterfly.” Students yelled with excitement, and many sang along.
After the show, students said they were inspired by the singer and enjoyed seeing her perform.
“I liked it being about no bullying,” said sixth-grader Courtney Loge. “I’ve been bullied before and my favorite song was ‘Butterfly.’”
Sixth-grader Amanda Reddick said she, too, loved the concert.
“It was really cool,” she said. “She told us about how she was bullied.”
Thouraia Naamo presented Sider with a large picture of a butterfly that she drew and colored with her sixth-grade classmates.
“We made it for Lizzie,” she said. “I wanted her to know she’s not alone in bullying. Everybody’s been bullied once.”
After the concert, Sider spent more than an hour signing autographs and posing for pictures with dozens of students.
“This school is so great,” she said as she sat in the quad signing autographs after school. “It’s so nice to come to a place that is so comforting. I want to inspire people. My favorite thing is signing autographs and meeting everybody. It’s fun meeting my fans. I want to share my story and hopefully inspire kids.”
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.