Bullied Teen Nominated for Homecoming Queen as a Cruel Prank, Gets the Last Laugh

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High school is hard enough, so when Whitney Kropp was nominated to her high school’s homecoming court, she couldn’t believe it! But after learning that it was a cruel joke played on her by a bully, she felt small and worthless. Instead of giving in to their cruelty, though, Whitney decided to fight back.

Nominated!

Whitney had always felt like an outcast at her Michigan high school, so when the nominations for homecoming court were announced and Whitney heard her name, she saw a beam of light…

Giggles

Even though she heard a few of the girls in her class giggling after her name was announced, she decided to brush it off and get excited anyway in spite of them. She couldn’t wait to let her family know what had happened!

Sharing on Facebook

When she got home and told her family, they were thrilled for her! She went on her Facebook page and shared the good news, writing, “In the Homecoming Court! 🙂 Little nervous but this is going to be fun :D”

Social Outcast

Whitney’s high school in West Branch, Michigan was just your average high school, and Whitney considered herself a bit of an outcast. She frequently dyed her hair different colors and listened to much different music than her peers. She never thought she fit in…

Bullied

Before high school, she was always taller than her classmates which made her literally stand out. But it wasn’t until high school that she began to get bullied.

Just a Joke

She didn’t have much in common with her peers and really didn’t have many friends, so when she heard that she was nominated as a joke, things unfortunately made more sense…

Dark Thoughts

When Whitney realized just about everyone in her class was in on the prank, she was devastated. She withdrew from her family and close friends and began to experience dark thoughts…

Counted Out

Whitney was told by classmates that a male member of the homecoming court had even withdrawn his nomination because he didn’t want to be associated with her. If it hadn’t been for her supportive family, her severe depression would have never subsided…

News Interview

When a local news station heard about this cruel prank, they interviewed Whitney and she shared that she felt like she didn’t belong at Ogemaw Heights High School anymore and that she was experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Family Support

“I had actually reached a point where I had thought about suicide for how bad this case was in,” Kropp told WNEM. “I thought I wasn’t worthy at Ogemaw Heights at all.” Luckily, Whitney did have her supportive family to lean on during this dark situation, and they had an idea for her…

Go For It

Her family was devastated to hear about Whitney’s depression from this situation, but they thought that it would be in Whitney’s best interest to not allow the bullies to take her down. They urged her to still participate in the Homecoming coronation…

Viral on Facebook

Whitney’s sister, Alivia, took it upon herself to start a Facebook group in support of her sister and the homecoming debacle. Then, unexpectedly, the group went viral and suddenly, they had a major platform for bullying awareness…

Support and Donations

Because of the popularity of the Facebook support group, people and local businesses were all lending Whitney their support be it in kind words or donations. Businesses donated all kinds of things for Whitney’s homecoming debut…

Donations Rolled In

Donations came rolling in for Whitney’s homecoming campaign and she was shocked! Local businesses donated a dress, shoes, a makeover, a homecoming dinner, and an amazing limo ride to take her to her big night. The cruel joke on Whitney was turning around…

Makeover Excitement

A local hairstylist offered Whitney a free makeover for her Homecoming. Stylist, ShannonChampagne explained, “Every girl looks forward to being on that homecoming court and for her name to be called. For her to be so excited about that and then just to find out it was all a joke, it really touched me.”

Big Reveal

As nervous as Whitney was when she arrived at her school on the night of homecoming, she was overwhelmed with the amount of support her friends and community had rallied together for her on her behalf. She had no idea, but her life was about to change forever…

The Dress

For the first time, she felt beautiful. Sporting a new look and a beautiful orange dress, she entered the football stadium with her father to an unexpected and overwhelming standing ovation. She couldn’t believe it…

Peer Support

Her peers and members of the community all held signs showing their support for Whitney, and they had even had orange T-shirts made in her honor. News teams were even on the scene to capture the moment…

Interviewed

Whitney was choked up and speechless. She went from believing she had no one on her side, to seeing thousands stand and cheer for her. News crews interviewed her as she entered the stadium…

Standing Up Against Bullies

Whitney said, “The kids that are bullying you, do not let them bring you down. Stand up for what you believe in and go with your heart and go with your gut.” Now, Whitney has a new goal…

Advocating

Through this experience, Whitney has now identified a career path for herself. Since her story went viral, she is thinking about becoming an anti-bullying advocate to help students like her and also reshape the framework around social dynamics in schools. Her mom shared what she’s working on now…

Inspiring Others

“It is absolutely awesome to see her stand up. And it’s so cool to see emails we’re getting from parents and other students from all over the place telling her stories and how it helped them and it touched them. My daughter is out there as an inspiration to a lot of people, and it’s a really cool thing,” Whitney’s mother stated, according to dailymail.com. A movie offer was also extended…

The Film Offer

The Kropp family has received countless emails and messages of support. A screenwriter also asked to turn Whitney’s story into a movie. While the newfound fame is a bit much for Whitney, the family is just happy that her story inspired so much kindness. In the world of Instagram, this bullying has only increased…

Girls>Boys

Among middle and high school students, 21% of girls say they have been bullied online or by text messages compared to less than 7% of boys. The principal at one high school in a high-crime area in New Jersey decided to get creative when it came to keeping his students safe and in school…

Dirty Laundry

Principal Akbar Cook at West Side High School in Newark, New Jersey, recognized that his students weren’t coming to school because they didn’t have clean clothes to wear…

Laundry Room

Principal Cook decided that if getting his students to school meant giving them a laundry room, that's exactly what he was going to do...

Basic Needs

“‘I think we really put the microscope on basic needs of kids. Everyone wants the high test scores, everyone wants them to perform well. But if the kid doesn’t feel confidence in just coming to school, being that person we know they can be, then what are we doing,” Cook said. This caught the eye of a very famous admirer…

The Ellen Show

Ellen caught wind of Cook's efforts and his ability to keep his students safe and off the streets and she donated $50,000 to West Side High School to help them keep up with their after school initiatives and their laundry room.

Lights On

Hundreds of students spend their Friday nights inside West Side High School because it’s a safe, judgment-free safe haven as part of the Lights On program, launched by their Principal Akbar Cook. In addition to Friday nights, they also keep the school open from 6-11pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, too.

Keeping Them Safe

The program was launched because Newark is a dangerous and poverty-stricken city and too many high school-aged students were being killed after school. Principal Cook devoted himself to changing that outcome for his students. In addition to the donation from Ellen, Oprah Winfrey also donated. Her check was for a whopping $500,000!


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