A Prince George teen is getting a lot of praise for the way she faced bullies at her school.
Grade 9 student Kailey Kukkola says someone had scrawled the words ‘Kailey Kukkola is a disgusting flat, ugly slut’ on the wall of a girl’s bathroom at College Heights High.
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She says she became aware of it because someone had sent her mom a picture of the hateful words.
“So when my mom showed me, like, the picture, it kinda stung. But, like, I thought it was funny, you know,” Kukkola told Global News.
She wanted to show whoever wrote that message that she could rise above it and show the words did not hurt her.
So she got them printed on a t-shirt.
“I just kinda wanted to almost get back at the person who did it and show what they wrote didn’t hurt me and that I just didn’t care,” she said.
Kukkola proudly wore the shirt to school.
“I just walked into class and one of my teachers just didn’t get the whole thing so I had to explain to her,” says Kukkola, adding she then had to explain her shirt to the principal.
She says her classmates have been very supportive of her shirt and the message behind it.
“They’re really supportive and they always say, ‘Oh that’s so cool! I’m so proud of you’,” says Kukkola.
The young student says she doesn’t know who wrote the message, but after experiencing some bullying in elementary school she knew she had to do something.
After talking to the school counsellor and other teachers, she has now been asked to join the peer leadership team.
Now coming from a place of empowerment, Kukkola has a message for anyone who might be dealing with a bully in their life.
“Just speak up,” she says.
“If you have something happen to you, tell someone and just wear it on your sleeve because those words don’t define you.”