16 year old sophomore Lauren Williams is taking a stand against bullying after a heartbreaking incident with a group of boys at Franklin High School.
Lauren [who goes by Lulu] has long endured eczema and psoriasis, which has affected her scalp and hair growth. In an effort to feel more confident, she started wearing a wig to school about a year ago.
For reasons that I'm not sure I'll ever understand, a few of her classmates made videos for social media in which they ripped her wig off.
"That's the one thing I cherish, having a wig, so I can feel safe and beautiful like other girls," Lauren told The Tennessean Monday night. "So when they tore it off, it was kind of like stripping me naked and putting me out in the open."
"These kids not only tore her wig off in the middle of school, but video taped it," her mother, Myckelle Williams, said in an Instagram post. "They followed her to the bathroom as she screamed and cried and proceeded to tape her OVER the stall as she cried and begged for her wig. Her best friend stood by and did nothing. ✨Later I had to take her to the hospital for abrasions and whiplash."
Yesterday I received a call from my youngest daughter screaming and crying on the phone, for me to come and get her from school. Apparently, some boys had taken a $5 BET about pulling her wig off in front of everyone. Lulu has a scalp condition that causes severe dryness and hair breakage and loss, and had been so ashamed of her appearance that she had taken to wearing wigs in an effort to still feel beautiful. We all know how easy it is to feel insecure at age 16. These kids not only tore her wig off in the middle of school, but video taped it. They followed her to the bathroom as she screamed and cried and proceeded to tape her OVER the stall as she cried and begged for her wig. Later I had to take her to the hospital for abrasions and whiplash. Lulu later decided to shave her hair off and not let these bullies win. She was not wanting to feel controlled by her hair any longer, and take back her control. I am only posting this with her permission but yesterday our entire family was angered and in tears about the way she was treated. The teen suicide rate has now DOUBLED and bullying has played a HUGE Role. If you have a teen in this situation, continue to uplift them and let them know that they are strong and beautiful and can own thier insecurities and take control rather than being controlled. I admire the strength and beauty of my little Lulu and know that she will inspire many others even through this difficult time in her life. #SayNoToShaming2018 Please share if you have a teen who needs to know they are beautiful no matter what! Bullies will not win in 2018
Charles Warner, a spokesman for Franklin Police Department, said the school administration is investigating, as is the [Williamson County Sheriff's Office] student resource officer assigned to the school.
But Lauren is already reclaiming her power, ultimately deciding to shave her head so as not to let her tormentors win.
"Your beauty isn't defined by the number of strands on your head," she said. "Ever since I (shaved) it, I feel free. I'm not held down by my hair. I'm not defined by it — I'm defining myself."
Today we were featured on Channel 4, 5 and FOX17 to detail the story of Lulus abuse at the hands of her tormentors! You can check it out as it is streamed on their websites. We are giving a voice to those who have always been forced to be silent and we will not stand for bullying anymore! Earlier we heard that the Kids who were involved only received an In school suspension! Apparently since these stories broke on the news, they have been arrested. Praise God and thanks to everyone for thier love support and prayers!!! We see and hear and feel the LOVE ❤️ keep sharing Lulus story so that we can set other victims #Free #ShameFree #Love2Lulu #BullieswontWin
If you or someone you know is a victim of bullying, please visit https://www.stopbullying.gov/get-help-now/index.html for resource information.