It was a nightmare. A prank as cruel as you would see in the movie Carrie. Yes, it happened in real life except there are no powers involved.
Whitney Kropp was nominated to be homecoming queen at Owega High School. Her excitement quickly turned into self-loathing, when students told her the nomination was a joke.
Kropp, a sophomore, said she has been bullied throughout her time at Ogemaw Heights High School. When she was nominated for the homecoming court as a prank, she became deeply depressed. Kropp even considered taking her own life. Then something amazing happened.
“I had actually reached a point where I had thought about suicide for how bad this case was in,” Kropp said. “I thought I wasn’t worthy at Ogemaw Heights at all.”
Her story got out and the community began to rally around her. Not just the local stores who donated hair styling, makeup, dresses, and shoes for the big day. But her fellow students who weren’t in on the prank recognized it as horrible bullying.
So on that big night, the big night that was intended to be a sham, a farce. Well, the joke was on her bullies. Kropp stepped out of a limousine dressed stunningly. The crowd roared as they held up signs for her, cheering her on. The nomination might have been fake, but the win was very real.
Kropp and the other court members rode in the back of pickup trucks around the track to the field, waiting for the king and queen to be crowned. The stadium cheered when the homecoming king was named, a senior with Downs Syndrome.
Sixteen-year-old Kropp said that she was thankful for the support she received in the wake of her nomination. She has advice for other people who are the victims of bullying.
“I would tell them to be brave,” Kropp said. “Look where it got me.”
The Ogemaw Heights High School stadium was packed with students, parents, alumni, and supporters. Many dressed in orange — Kropp’s favorite color — to honor her at the game.
A number of news organizations also attended the game, including The Detroit Free Press, CNN, and The Detroit News.
Donny Winter, a friend of Kropp, posted a YouTube video of her Sept. 15 that has more than 30,000 views.
“I was outraged when I heard what happened,” Winter said. “Whitney is a dear friend, and I’m very protective of her.”
Winter said that he understood the pain she felt. A 2007 Ogemaw Heights High School graduate, Winter was also bullied.
Watch the video report below: