GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Being a kid is hard when you’re still trying to figure out who you are. Being bullied adds a whole new challenge for young people. But students at Gautier’s Singing River Academy are pushing back at bullies with a music video reminding others that it’s okay to be yourself.
The video is the brainchild of Emily Salter, the school’s social worker. Bullying is a battle she and her coworkers fight every day, she said. So when she saw this year’s blockbuster hit The Greatest Showman, it struck a chord inside and moved her to action.
“After watching the movie The Greatest Showman the song ‘This Is Me’ reminded me of every child I’ve ever worked with who has been bullied, excluded or mistreated,” said Salter. “They desperately want to just be who they are without judgment. So many feel lost or confused or feel they have to lie and hide who they are because it’s not cool or ‘normal.’”
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Salter said the movie inspired her to create a music video with her students with the message that it’s okay to be who you are. For weeks, a group of students worked with a dance teacher who volunteered to help them with choreography. It was six weeks of brainstorming ideas, planning, practicing, and recording dozens of video clips to be edited together.
The end product is a creative approach reminding everyone that we are who we are and that’s who we’re meant to be.
“I am so proud of these kids for working hard, standing with me to help promote this powerful message,” said Salter.
Salter was nominated last month for the Life Changer of the Year award. To be nominated, educators must make a positive impact in the lives of students and enhance their school or district’s atmosphere, culture and pride. She said she made the video after she was nominated to share with other educators in the Life Change of the Year group.
Singing River Academy is a school for fifth- and sixth-graders in Gautier. It’s a part of Pascagoula-Gautier School District.