A Michigan teen was excited when her classmates nominated her for homecoming court. But, her joy was quickly destroyed when she was told it was just a cruel prank. Unfortunately for her bullies, however, the tables were about to get turned.
Whitney Kropp was both stunned and excited to be nominated for her school’s homecoming court. Being voted the female representative of the sophomore class certainly came as a shock for the self-described outcast with just a handful of friends. That joy quickly turned to devastation, however, when she was told the nomination was nothing more than a cruel prank.
Whitney’s classmates voted for her as a joke. It was like something straight out of a teen drama movie, and it left the 16-year-old feeling destroyed. The Ogemaw Heights High School sophomore went from being over-the-moon to feeling suicidal as a result of the mean-spirited prank. She was left in tears, feeling hurt.
Whitney was plagued by depression and suicidal thoughts as she seriously considered taking her own life. “I’m like, ‘Wow, I feel like trash,'” she admitted. “I feel like I’m a little thing that no one really cares about.” But, her family and friends stepped up to lend encouragement, pushing Whitney to embrace what happened and have fun, which would fly in the face of what her bullies had wanted.
Whitney’s sister Alivia was the first person to spread the word about what had happened and encourage the bullied sophomore to speak out. “It’s very hard to see someone hurt and upset, and you want to do everything in your power to make sure they’re not that way,” Alivia said, admitting that watching her sister spend an entire night crying was horrible. “You’ve got the courage, you’ve got the strength to go do it, so go do it and have fun,” Alivia told Whitney.
“I can just prove all these kids wrong,” Whitney decided. “I’m not the joke everyone thinks I am,” she said, and she was going to use this opportunity to prove it. But, opting to stay on the homecoming court wasn’t an easy decision, especially after the teen’s self-esteem had been so deeply shaken.
Luckily, as news of the prank spread, plenty of people were ready to rally around Whitney and help her regain the confidence the cruel bullies had stripped away. Local businesses stepped up to donate her homecoming gown, shoes, and jewelry, and a salon even gave her a makeover.
Whitney not only became the focus of many local headlines, but she also made national ones as well, and she began to see that she had far more supporters than she did haters. Students from her own district stood up for her, and Facebook support groups, garnering tens of thousands of likes, popped up, thrusting the teen even further into the spotlight.
Seeing how many people had her back, Whitney was able to hold her head high with a new sense of confidence, CNN reported. “It is absolutely awesome to see her stand up,” Bernice Kropp said. The beaming mom added that it was “cool” to see the emails they got from people all over, telling their stories and how Whitney’s helped and touched them. “My daughter is out there as an inspiration to a lot of people, and it’s a really cool thing,” Bernice said.
“I thought before, ‘Oh, no one cares about me,”’ Whitney said, admitting that the outpouring of support came as a surprise. “I thought not even my own brother and sister care. But they’re proving me they do care. The world is proving they do, well not really care about me, but they care about the situation. So I’m happy. I’m really honored.”
As the night of homecoming approached, Whitney was still reluctant to attend despite her newfound fame and support. But, instead of staying home, she went out, and it was totally worth it. Whitney got the last laugh, turning the tables on the bullies who wanted this to be a bad time for the teen. Instead, it was a night she will never forget for all the right reasons.
Whitney’s smile was front and center during the homecoming coronation as family, friends, the entire community, and many others cheered her on. It was a whirlwind weekend, complete with a Hummer limo ride, banners and signs of support, a standing ovation, and even media coverage.
When asked where she got the courage to stand up, unashamed in front of not just her bullies but the entire whole world, Whitney Kropp sent an important message to anyone who’s ever bullied. She pointed to her heart and said, “Right here.” Indeed, courage, self-esteem, confidence, and joy comes from within — and no bully can strip that away unless you let them. Whitney decided not to, and she’s happier because of it.