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Mónica Guzmán

Stories at the intersection of tech and life from a boldly connected city.

September 26, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Facebook: the anti-bully? Supporting Whitney Kropp

A page supporting bullied Michigan teen Whitney Kropp is leading a viral campaign against bullying. (Image from Support Whitney Kropp on Facebook)

You always hear about cyberbullying. And you should. Forty-three percent of teens have been victims of some form of cyberbullying over the last year, according to the National Crime Prevention Council.

But then there’s this story.

High schoolers in the small town of West Branch, Mich., thought it would be funny to vote an unpopular girl, Whitney Kropp, as homecoming queen. She was humiliated — who wouldn’t be? But instead of succumbing to the kind of despair that tears up so many teens, she embraced the title. Pretty soon, so did the town.

Local businesses have donated products and services to prep her for Friday’s homecoming game, including a red dress and a ride in a convertible. Residents have pledged to pack the bleachers with T-shirts that read, “Team Whitney.” The Facebook page fueling the support picked up, as the Detroit News noted, “more likes than the town has people.”

And counting. The page had 3,500 likes when the Detroit News reported the story. Now that it’s spread like crazy around the Web, 87,000 people like the page, and her story is leading a national campaign against bullying.

You don’t always hear stories like this.

But when you do, you share them.

Via Evonne Benedict, Mark Matassa and Julia Montagnet, who shared this story on Facebook. Seen a story that caught your eye re: digital life? Email me at mguzman@seattletimes.com or reach me on Twitter or Facebook to share your take with readers. 

Comments | More in Caught Your Eye, Social


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