A local organization honored a Delaware County teen who said her show of support for her grandmother made her the target of bullying from her classmates.
Kaylee Wilson of Woodlyn, Pennsylvania, said it all started when her mother told her devastating news.
“My mom called me into the kitchen and told me, ‘Your grandmother’s been diagnosed with cancer,’” Kaylee said. “We went to visit her and I saw how depressed she was about losing her hair because she loved her hair.”
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Not wanting her grandmother to feel alone, Kaylee decided to cut her own hair.
“It made me feel very in touch with my grandmother,” Kaylee said. “Even more so than I already am.”
Kaylee’s mother, Melissa Wilson, was touched by her daughter's show of support.
“She cut her hair off and she wanted to do it and it was amazing,” Melissa said. “I felt so inspired. We all did it.”
Yet according to Kaylee, her classmates weren’t nearly as supportive. The teen told NBC10 her new haircut made her a target of bullying.
“I go to school and I get looks and I get glares,” she said. “I get just frowning gestures.”
After learning about Kaylee’s story, the local organization Teach Anti Bullying (TAB) decided to lend a helping hand.
“I applaud the fact that this young lady wanted to stand up to these people,” said Dr. Claudio Cerullo, the founder and executive director of TAB. “She’s a very brave kid. She’s a heroine in my opinion.”
TAB honored Wilson Saturday morning with a medal of courage and a certificate of commendation. In addition to the honor, Wilson also received a makeover and new haircut at Salon Olivia in Newtown Square. Wilson’s hair stylist, Josephine Desiderio, can relate to the teen’s story. Desiderio’s daughter, Daniela Redpath, is the Director of Operations of TAB while her grandson, who has autism, has been a victim of bullying since kindergarten.
Kaylee told NBC10 she hopes she can inspire other children to stand up to bullying. Yet despite her award, Wilson remains humble and has not lost sight of her original goal, honoring her grandmother.
“It makes me feel happy,” Wilson said. “But I mean I didn’t do it to be recognized for it. I did it for her.”