Grand Prairie Students Continue Anti-Bullying Efforts

Students sign pledge against bullying after homecoming story shared around the world

The Texas girls who vowed to give their homecoming crown to a bullied friend went one step further on Tuesday, asking the entire student body at Grand Prairie High to sign a pledge against bullying.

Anahi Alvarez won the title of homecoming queen, but she didn't want to crown.

"We're going to make Lilly feel better. We're going to let her know that she deserves the crown," she said. "People are going to be seeing it all over the world. They're going to be realizing that people will stand up for bullying and it's going to stop."

Alvarez said she and her friend Naomi Martinez learned that some of their classmates were pulling a cruel prank on Lillian Skinner by telling her she, too, was nominated for homecoming queen. So they made a pact to give their crown to Skinner if either of them won.

When Alvarez won, she knew what to do.

"What happened was what we did from the bottom of our hearts," she said.

Their story made national news, and the picture of all three of them, with Skinner in the middle wearing the crown, went viral.

"We didn't expect any of this at all. It was just so crazy how it went so viral so quick, but at the same time, that's a good thing," said Alvarez.

The girls' selfless act of kindness meant the world to Skinner.

"When she had the crown on her head she said to me, 'This is the best senior year ever,'" said Martinez.

Martinez also said wearing the crown gave her friend new found confidence.

"She volunteered to read the other day in front of the class. She's never done that," Martinez said.

Skinner recalled the days when kids used to bully her.

"They made fun of my teeth, my hair. I had short hair, and people would call me Chucky," she said.

But Skinner also said friends like Alvarez and Martinez inspired her to reach for her dreams. "I'd like to be an actress," she said. "I always keep going for it, you know? Help my mom out. You know, make my mom proud."

At the end of Tuesday's rally against bullying, Principal Lorimer Arendse called on every student to make a pledge.

"When you sign something, you're making a commitment. You're taking an oath. You're saying, 'I'm going to stand up against bullying,'" he said.

Martinez hoped their efforts will continue to send a strong message to others to act kindly. "Just think next time you have something that means a lot to you, maybe it means more to someone else," she said.

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