Touring anti-bullying assembly comes to Germantown (Gazette.Net)
Published by Gazette.net
Nov. 12, 2014
Written by Samantha Schmieder
Although she is just 16, Lizzie Sider has been touring the country for the past year reaching out to elementary school children about the negative effects of bullying by spreading her inspiring music and words.
Sider has recorded in Nashville and written with accomplished artists and writers as well as opened for country artists such as Jamie O’Neal, Aaron Tippin and Gloriana.
On Thursday, Sider will hold an assembly at Germantown Elementary School for its fifth grade students as well as for students who will come over from nearby Fox Chapel, Daly and McAuliffe elementary schools.
Germantown Elementary School principal Amy Bryant explained that she was happy to host other schools for the assembly and knew having Sider at the school would be beneficial to all.
“It was definitely something I was interested in, I think every school has a plan to combat bullying,” Bryant said.
Germantown Elementary School’s plan includes school guidance counselors speaking to students about bullying as well as working with the PTA to have an anti-bullying program. Bryant said that the school has identified peacemakers who make sure no one is bullying during recess and has the students recite a pledge about taking a stand against bullying.
“Fifth grade is the perfect age for this event because they are the role models in the school and as they transition to middle school we want them to represent us well,” Bryant said.
Sider will be performing at Germantown Elementary School as well as Sligo Creek Elementary School, Rocky Hills Middle School, Wheaton Woods Elementary School and Rachel Carson Elementary School over the next ten days. At her assembly she will perform songs, including “Butterfly,” a song about her experience getting bullied, and will ask students about their experiences and tell them about her own.
“I was bullied in elementary school, there was a lot of teasing and ridicule going on and it was hard for me,” Sider said.
One day as she was leaving for school, Sider said that her father told her that “no one has the power to ruin your day,” and that stuck with her.
“It was really up to me if anything was going to get me down. That was a life lesson I learned at a very young age,” Sider said.
Sider used her father’s advice as the theme for her assemblies this year and will be giving out wristbands with that saying printed on them to all the children that attend.
“She has that youth on her side where the kids can really relate to her,” Bryant said.
Sider said that sometimes kids are so far attached from adults that they don’t think adults were ever even kids themselves and that’s why she, as a 16-year-old, is able to convey her message so successfully.
“I think that our teachers can speak from their heart and do all they can and have the best intentions, but sometimes what it takes is someone who is young and who has been there only a few years ago who can say, ‘Hey, I went through this and you can, too,’” Sider said.