When I was in high school, I was not exactly mister popular. Although I had friends and was not bullied, I was too shy to put myself out there and ask a girl on a date. In hindsight, I’m kicking myself, because I’m sure now I could have certainly had more success than I had thought at the time. In the end, I did muster up enough courage to ask the new girl at school to our high school prom and had a good time.
High school sophomore Dakota Nelton from Gray, Louisiana wanted to go to homecoming. But he didn’t have a girlfriend. So he decided to ask his female friend if she would go with him. When he asked, she rejected him – in front of his classmates. Dakota was left speechless. The other kids started to bully him and ridicule him for failing with his friend. He stepped onto the handmade sign that he had spent hours creating to ask his friend to the dance.
“That’s what made me walk away. I didn’t want to be a part of it,” Dakota told WGNO New Orleans.
He left the laughing students behind wishing that he could disappear forever.
“It was actually a pretty tough moment standing in a small circle with that one shake of the head, and you just got to find your way out of that circle,” Dakota said during the WGNO interview after his luck turned around.
Before things would get better, they got so much worse. The rejection was caught on camera, so the bullies uploaded it to the internet, preserving Dakota’s shame for eternity.
School became a nightmare for Dakota. All the kids ridiculed him both in class and in the high school’s hallways. He was the laughing stock at school, especially since his failure had gone viral for the entire country to see. He was famous, for getting rejected for homecoming. It sucked.
Little did Dakota know but a plan was being hatched behind the scenes. The cheerleaders felt pity for him and wanted to make sure he danced no matter what.
“We’re going to make sure he dances like we’re going to make sure he is on the dance floor dancing.”
Alyssa Buckley led a group of cheerleaders to do something good with their popular status. She said:
“Let’s get a group of girls together and ask him to show him that he’s loved and worthy and deserves to be going to homecoming with somebody.”
And they did! Thirteen girls held up endearing posters begging Dakota to take them to homecoming.
For the first time in his life, Dakota felt that people liked him.
“I felt like one of the popular kids in school which I’m really not,” Dakota said.
Because October is National Bullying Prevention Month, the cheerleaders’ response to Dakota’s rejection came at the perfect time. The dance is happening this week, and hopefully, Dakota will come back with some great news and share how much fun he had with his cheerleader dates.
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