A 14-year-old girl is standing up for herself and others who face online abuse from fellow students. Mary Thompson, who is a freshman at Locust Grove High School, became the center of a joke after another student posted a picture of her on Snapchat, comparing her to a water buffalo. According to KJRH, Thompson cried herself to sleep when she first saw the post.
Thompson reported the photo to the school and uploaded a video of her own, which included the offensive photo, telling other victims of bullying to "stay strong. Speak out. Don't let the haters get you down." KOTV-TV reports that school officials contacted her mother, and demanded she remove the video.
Thompson did not remove the video and went on to accuse the school of not doing enough to combat online bullying. She said that boy who posted the photo with the demeaning caption only received three days of in-school suspension, and has yet to apologize to her.
Once the video went viral, Thompson said she began to receive multiple messages of support from people all over the world. The positives messages helped lift her spirits.
My heart went from being sad to being, like, overflowing with joy.
The video also lead to bully receiving threats for his cruelty. Thompson is not happy with that, and doesn't want her message to be used to promote bullying.
“Just stop it,” she said. “That’s not what I meant to send out at all.”
She has a message for those who are deeply hurt by bullies.
Even if you are getting bullied, it always gets better… you don’t ever need to lose hope.