Teen Picked as Homecoming Princess as Prank & The Town Fights Back
It is Homecoming season again. Across America, girls are picking out dresses, football players are practicing, and alumni are planning to get away for one special night. And for some chosen few, who were picked as Homecoming Kings, Queens, Princesses and Princes anticipation and excitement is building.
For Whitney Kropp, a sophomore from a small town north of Saginaw in Michigan, her quick-lived enjoyment turned to humiliation when she realized that she was only chosen to be part of the Homecoming court as a cruel prank. The boy who was picked to represent the sophomore class along with her stepped down, kids laughed, and Whitney was embarrassed. Always an outsider, she was shocked that she had been chosen, but did not realize that her fellow classmates would stoop so low to cause her emotional pain until she heard the snickers.
And then something remarkable happened.
The small town rallied around her to stand up against bullying. Local businesses volunteered to donate a dress and shoes, dinner, and fix her hair and nails. A complete stranger, who wanted to raise awareness and support for Whitney, started a Facebook page, which quickly grew to over 3500 fans (impressive for a town of only 2100 people). As of 9/26/12, that Facebook page has over 87,000 fans from people all over, supporting Whitney and standing up against bullying. Reading through the comments, it is hard not to get emotional, as others give Whitney encouragement or share their own distressful episodes from high school.
As the Detroit News mentioned, “It seemed to touch a chord with anyone who had a tortuous experience in high school, which is just about anyone who ever went to high school.”
The game is this coming Friday, and many residents are planning to attend – but not for the football. They will be holding posters and wearing t-shirts that say “Team Whitney” to cheer on a girl who will proudly step out at half time and represent not just herself or her sophomore class, but as one who represents everyone that stands against bullying.