A joke becomes a dream come true for a girl named Whitney

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE/By Maramis

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

Many teenage girls dream of being the homecoming queen while in high school. On the other hand, no one ever dreams of being the butt of a major joke that is intended to be just one more way for her pedantic or predatory peers to pull a fast one on her and make her life even more miserable than all the bullying they had subjected her to up to this time.
Whitney Kropp, a somewhat different Ogemaw Heights high school student who stood out from her crowd in some ways, just as any teenage girl should be free to do, was nominated for Homecoming Queen. Whitney didn’t blend in with the other girls since she was somewhat eccentric with her hair color and even the music that she listened to, which made it easier for all the other girls to bully her by nominating her for that honor as just a big joke.
Because of her differences, Whitney was used to being bullied, and she often had thoughts of suicide. Her bullies, like most bullies, never give any thought to what they’re doing and often keep it up throughout all their time in high school if nothing intervenes to stop it. And in Whitney’s case, this could have been the last straw. Once she knew it was a prank, it led her to have those thoughts of suicide once again.
She discovered the so-called prank (the heaviest act of bullying that her classmates had thus far pulled on her) by hearing her nomination announced over the school’s loudspeaker and at the same time also
heard several of her classmates giggling over the announcement. She turned inward once again, feeling less than acceptable to the world at large and to her classmates in particular.
One would have to think that those who bully others either have no idea how absolutely devastating such bullying can be or else they are heartless individuals who relish the idea of hurting, embarrassing, or ridiculing others for the strange sense of joy it gives them. Since I doubt that most teenagers are really that deliberately cruel, not without the basic group of their peers egging them on and encouraging them to do it to be part of the team, the in-crowd (or whatever they’re calling the in-crowd these days), I’d say they’re mostly insensitive and thoughtless. While they may know that some of those
who are bullied often turn to suicide because it affects them THAT much, they likely can’t believe that the things they are doing could lead to that kind of an outcome.
Bullying in any school (hopefully still today) usually leads to holding an assembly for the entire school and presenting some kind of program that shows what bullying looks like, how it feels, and what
every student can do to stop it in its tracks. And schools have had good luck with those programs, helping to bring the suicide rates — that have the parents wondering why they didn’t even know their child was so depressed — way down.
But Whitney was fortunate. She not only told her parents and the other members of her family, but they went into action on social media and told everyone they could what her classmates had done to her. Soon there were many hundreds of people out there who rallied ‘round her, supporting her in sticking with the nomination for homecoming queen.
There was one who offered her a makeover and a new hairstyle, someone who offered her a dress for the occasion, and even a chauffeured limo to get her to the game, to say nothing of all her supporters who were planning to show up at the game (the coronation for the homecoming queen takes place at halftime) to show their support.
What started out as an ill-will act of blatant bullying because Whitney was somewhat different, turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to her. Not only did the bullying stop, but it called great attention to the subject of bullying that many students have had to suffer over the years, and gave her a day she would never forget.
Aren’t those who give the shots supposed to be careful enough to give the correct shot?
A conscientious mother in Maryland took her 4-year-old daughter to her local pharmacy for the seasonal flu shot and accidentally was given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine instead, by mistake.
The person who administered the Pfizer vaccine was a Walgreens pharmacist. While a Walgreens spokesperson stated that patient safety is the company’s top priority, and apologies had been made to the parents of the child (and perhaps other arrangements were made as well), and the good news about this error is that while this drug has not yet been approved by the FDA for children under 12, their
“multi-step vaccination procedure includes several safety checks to minimize the chance of human error. We’ve recently reviewed this process with our pharmacy staff in order to prevent a future
occurrence,” the spokesperson said. But the best good news is that the child is doing well, with no bad reaction to the shot.
Please let this “accident” be a lesson for all those who get shots for themselves or especially for their children: While trusting the people with the needle, give it that one little extra safety check by asking
to read the label on the bottle yourself. It takes maybe two seconds and will put your mind more at ease and certainly will make the person with the needle feel more confident as well!
* * * * *
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at maramistribune@gmail.com.

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