Celebrity shares anti-bullying message with students

Those who are familiar with the Disney and Nickelodeon Channels on TV will recognise the name Meredith O’Connor, who is an internationally known singer and actress from the USA.
However, they may not realise that the teen icon is also an advocate for anti-bullying, and has recently brought her world tour ‘I Am’ campaign to Waiau Pa School.
Last Friday students were treated to several  original songs  of self empowerment from the anti-bullying spokesperson Meredith O’Connor. They were then able to  ask questions about bullying and her experiences.  Meredith’s message was loud and clear—’embrace who you are and be proud of yourself.’

“When you are being bullied, you feel like you are the only one in the world going through it. I want to share my message to let you know, that you are not alone, and that this behaviour is not acceptable,” she said to the students.
Meredith shared with Waiau Pa School students about how she was bullied from when she was six years old. “I was name called, pushed and shoved, but the worst was feeling like I wasn’t accepted. I would often blame myself, and start believing what they were saying.
This went on for years before I finally spoke up and told a teacher. I could have stopped this earlier if I had spoken out, and that is what I would like to encourage you to do. If you are being bullied, you need to tell someone who can help make it stop. Remember, there is nothing wrong with you. It is the bullies that need help, you are great just the way you are.”
Connor Ringrose, seven, said he really liked hearing what Meredith had to say.
“I now know what to do when friends won’t let me play with them. I won’t get upset by it and will go find other friends to play with.” Katie Wootten, nine, said she really liked the songs.  “I have learnt that if you get bullied not to take it personally. Meredith’s songs about bullying are pretty cool.”
Meredith was blown away by response she received at Waiau Pa School. “It really excites me when I come into a school like Waiau Pa, and you see teachers and staff who you can tell really care for these kids.
As a former victim of bullying, I would have loved to have known about the support systems, like they have here, when I was growing up.
So when I come into schools, it is a big priority to let the students know the things I wish I had known on how to stop bullying in its tracks.”
Meredith has been brought to New Zealand by Anti-Bullying New Zealand, and will continue her campaign throughout the North Island.