Published by Redwood Times
Oct. 22, 2013
Article by Redwood Times
Bullying has gained a lot of media attention lately since the suicide of Phoebe Prince in 2010. Bullying can be defined as an activity of repeated aggressive behavior intended to harm someone mentally or physically. It can range from pinching, hitting, verbal abuse, hair pulling, written abuse, electronic abuse or even exclusion from a group.Researchers have found that bullies, as well as those bullied, have poor social coping skills. Males tend to be physically aggressive where females tend to exclude and mock those they bully. According to statistics, 160,000 students stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying and 30% of all students are bullied. Victims of bullies are two-to-nine times more likely to consider suicide than nonvictims.
On Monday, Oct. 7 Lizzy Sider visited Leggett School to talk about her experiences of being bullied. Sider is a 15-year-old country and western singer who has performed all over the nation and on The Disney Channel. She is using her fame as a singer to promote Bully Awareness Month. Sider is starting a tour of 80 schools in California, and Leggett was the third school on her tour.
One of the questions Sider asked the assembly was, “Why do you think people bully?” Various hands shot up. She received responses like, “They want to make you feel bad.” “It makes them feel big.” “Jealousy!” and, “They want someone else to feel how they felt.” All of these answers were pretty close to the responses on national surveys that have been taken.
Sider then said that she had also said mean things to people before, and it did not make her feel good at all. She then told about how she was taunted for her singing on the elementary school playground.
She hoped that everyone would remember how bad it felt when they said something mean to someone. She then sang a few songs that she wrote including her signature song, Butterfly. Everyone received a bracelet with the Lizzy Sider motto, “Nobody has the power to ruin your day.” Students and parents said it was a positive experience and students left with high energy.