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      Senate honors subject of apparent school prank

      The Michigan Senate has honored a mid-Michigan girl named to her high school homecoming court as part of an apparent prank.

      The Senate welcomed 16-year-old Ogemaw Heights student Whitney Kropp Wednesday and presented her with a tribute signed by northern Michigan lawmakers Sen. John Moolenaar and Rep. Bruce Rendon, as well as Gov. Rick Snyder. The tribute recognized her outstanding poise and courage.

      "Whitney's example of resilience is an honest reflection of her true character and gives hope and strength to others facing adversity," said Senator John Moolenaar, R-Midland.

      Sen. Moolenaar, Whitney's host at the Senate, went on to say the Senate is "honored to recognize Whitney for her courage to stand up for herself and for proudly serving on her homecoming court. She demonstrated poise beyond her years and serves as a shining example for us all."

      Kropp has said she felt betrayed after some students suggested her selection was a joke.

      Her story spread nationwide and on September 28, she was escorted onto the field by her father and grandfather to represent her sophomore class in front of a large, supportive crowd.

      "She didn't seek the attention and when it came, she used it to reach out to others," said Representative Bruce Rendon, R-Lake City, "It was uplifting to see the outpouring of support for Whitney from the West Branch-Rose City community."

      Rep. Rendon said the game was "packed" with supporters, many of which were wearing her favorite color. Several items and services were also donated so she could enjoy her homecoming experience at no cost to her.