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."
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."
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.