Homecoming bullying prank turns to civic support of victim Whitney Kropp

A homecoming prank and its outcome breaks hearts and then warms them: Bullying victim Whitney Kropp was nominated for homecoming court as a joke, but her small town rallies around her.

It has always been said – kids are cruel. As time goes by, bullying continues to reach new heights, as Whitney Kropp can unfortunately attest. She was the target of the cruelest of pranks, when her high school nominated her as the sophomore representative for their Homecoming Court.

At first, she was shocked and excited by the homecoming vote, until she learned the cruel reality – the students in her school thought it would be funny if an unpopular student won. They wasted no time and began pointing and laughing at her in the hallways and posting about it on her Facebook page.

And the popular football player who was voted to escort her? He withdrew his name because he didn’t want to be linked with her.

“I thought I wasn’t worthy,” said Kropp, 16. “I was this big old joke.” Whitney was devastated and wanted to withdraw, herself. However, at the urging of her grandmother, mother and sister, she planned to attend the game, to hold her head high and not give the bullies that satisfaction.

As word of this quickly spread through her small town, her community rallied around her. Showering her with support, local businesses offered her everything; a new dress, new shoes and a tiara, as well as having her hair and nails done.The town also plans to pack the football stadium for the homecoming game this weekend, wearing Team Whitney shirts, so they can cheer for her when she is introduced at halftime.

Beyond her town, this story has spread online and a Facebook page called Support Whitney Kropp was created 11 days ago, so more people can show her their support. It already has over 46,000 likes.

This story both breaks and warms my heart.

What started out as a heartless and terrible prank on a 16 year-old-girl, has turned into such a positive story because of people willing to take a stand against bullying. I hate to even think about what Homecoming would have been like for Whitney, if her town didn’t rally behind her.

Would the students have further humiliated her by booing when her name was announced? Or would they have done something even worse? This story could have had a very different, very tragic outcome.

I am truly so moved by this town, for taking her by the hand and showing her that she is not a joke … and she is worthy. Good for them.

As for the bullies who calculated this disgusting act? The school district is conducting an investigation. I’m hoping this isn’t the end of the story – that there will be consequences for those involved.

If not, do you think the outpouring of support is enough to teach them a lesson?

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. Lauren Parker-Gill blogs at Spill the Beans.

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