Bullying is far too common these days and unfortunately, it only seems to be getting worse. Kids don’t have trouble coming up with something to bully other kids about even if it involves something that is out of the victim’s control.
Sixteen-year-old Gosport Hampshire resident, Shannon Purcifer suffers from ulcerative colitis and celiac disease which has made her physical health difficult to deal with but the teasing that she received because of her ailments took a toll on her mental health. At such a young age, she has to take up to five tablets a day for her illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, which was spotted by doctors last year.
When it came time for prom, the 16-year-old was excited to go and purchased a beautiful dress months before. But, due to her classmates’ bullying, Shannon decided to stay home the night of the prom.
Her mother, Claire Carstens, was heartbroken by the way Shannon was being treated and shared this emotional post on Facebook…
“The night she was supposed to go to her prom she just did nothing. She tried the dress on but it was heartbreaking for her to choose not to go. She had been looking forward to it for months and we bought the dress as far back as February but the bullying got so bad she knew she wouldn’t enjoy it if she went. She agonized over it for a while but we knew maybe two months beforehand that her heart wasn’t in it. She’d had enough. With all the things she’s been going through with her health and trying to study for GCSEs, the bullying has just taken its toll. It started about halfway through year 10 and continued into year 11. It’s mainly been name-calling and intimidation but there has been physical bullying too.When she’s been poorly, the bullies have jumped on that too and it’s got to the point where she feels sick every day. Having to put up with all of that has been too much for her.”
When word traveled about Shannon’s bullying, the community gathered together to give her a prom that she would never forget. The makeshift prom was complete with a buffet, disco, and decorations. A fleet of 120 bikers from Gosport joined together and attended the event along with 100 family members and friends. Making her entrance to the alternative prom extra special, the Gosport Scooter Club riders were her escort for her ride from home to the event, which was held at St. Vincent College.
The evening was a success and Shannon and her support system proved that the alternative prom was far better than a prom with bullies.
“There was lots of dancing and I generally just had an amazing time,” said Shannon. “There were people there I’d never even met who had gone out of their way to help me. It was really emotional. It was better than I could ever have imagined. It was far better than if I had gone to my own school prom.”
Shannon was the star of the evening and her mother made sure to document the memorable evening…