WEST BRANCH, Mich. (WXYZ) - A teenager bullied by her classmates turned the tables on them after a humiliating hoax and walked with her head held high at the homecoming football game.
Usually the football players who are the stars at a big game, but Friday night the attention went to someone off the field.
16-year-old Whitney Kropp waved to a crowd that supported her for standing up to the classmates who bullied her.
“I’m excited. I’m so happy. It’s just so much going on for me,” said Whitney.
This is a different Whitney than the nation saw last week. The sophomore at Ogemaw Heights High School thought about killing herself after she found out her nomination to the homecoming court had been a prank pulled by her peers. But the small rural town of West Branch where she lives rallied behind her. Businesses donated things like her dress and gave her a makeover. Even students from the opposing team supported her with signs and banners.
“I think it’s awful what happened to her and we just want to let her know that there are people here for her,” said Alli Halladay a senior at Cadillac High School.
“It was very hurtful, there was a lot of you know, shaking your head and questions of why?” said Erica Erway, a senior at Cadillac High School.
“I’m surprised that the team that we are going against is supporting me. It’s wow, that’s overwhelming. Seriously, I have no words for this right now,” said Whitney.
She does not know exactly who pulled the cruel joke and the school hasn’t punished any students yet, but even now she does not hold that against them.
“This isn’t that bad of a school,” said Whitney.
She has a message for other kids who are bullied.
“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. That’s what I did, and look at me now. I’m just as happy as can be,” said Whitney.
The superintendent did not return our phone calls Friday. There are people in town who have not been happy with all the attention, saying that the actions of a select few should not tarnish the reputation of an entire school.
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