Bullied Michigan teen Whitney Kropp triumphed at homecoming Friday night where even fans of the other team supported her — showing up at the football game in her favorite color orange.
Her case — which we discussed earlier this week – has attracted supporters worldwide. Whitney was elected to the homecoming court at her Michigan high school as a joke by some mean classmates, but she turned the tables on them and emerged a national heroine after her hometown rallied behind her and a Facebook campaign was launched.
Cheers erupted and cameras flashed Friday as Whitney Kropp stepped onto her high school football field as a star. “I’m overwhelmed,” she said later, with flowers in her hair and the straps on her red, ruffled dress sparkling under the stadium lights.
Kropp, a 16-year-old sophomore, made headlines this month when she decided to join Ogemaw Heights High School’s homecoming court, despite being nominated as a joke. Many people around West Branch, as well as across the country, praised her courage and embraced her anti-bullying message.
Whitney’s supporters donned orange, her favorite color, as they cheered her on from the stadium stands. Students from Cadillac, home of the visiting team, were in orange. “We support her,” said 13-year-old Molly
“There’s definitely a different mood,” 61-year-old John Young said before the game as he hawked raffle tickets near a man grilling hot dogs. “People came here together to support her.” And when halftime finally arrived, the marching band played and a pickup carried Whitney around the track that surrounds the field. She carefully stepped out and turned toward the crowd, beaming.
Whitney said she has a message for victims of bullying. “The kids that are bullying, do not let them bring you down,” she said. “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.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog