Prom is a major milestone in a high schooler’s life. Some kids love dressing up, going out to eat at a fancy restaurant and dancing the night away.
Other kids simply enjoy the comraderie, their final hurrah as a high schooler before the seniors graduate and the juniors move up to become the top dogs. It’s definitely a memorable time for many full of flowers, food, smiles and fun.
But for high school senior Jackson Loop, his final prom definitely was memorable — for all the wrong reasons. Jackson and his band friends made plans to meet up before the night’s festivities for the ritual pre-prom photo session.
But some of the kids texted him that plans had changed and they wouldn’t be taking any pictures. Jackson was bummed, since he had bought a custom-tailored suit just for the occasion.
So he waited until close to the time his friends were supposed to pick him up, then donned his brand new suit. And he waited…and waited…and waited…
Jackson’s friends never showed up. He called them, he texted them, but no one responded.
He was crushed.
His mom Sheila Loop said she had never experienced such heartbreak as a parent watching her son be ridiculed and left out. It broke her heart.
“His younger brother and sister and I watched him as he started to realize that he was being ditched and I have to tell you that in my 18 years of parenting I have never felt so much pain. It was mixed with an indescribable amount of rage. This was. painful. Then, after he changed out of his suit, he saw all of their pre-prom pictures on Facebook, and he all but collapsed in the kitchen.”
After he calmed down, Jackson admitted he wasn’t surprised that his classmates — the kids he thought were his friends — had treated him so horribly. He’d confessed to his mom that he often felt invisible, a loser.
Jackson had always struggled to fit in and discern where he belonged. He desperately wanted to be part of a group of friends, Sheila told Yahoo Lifestyle.
“It wasn’t until high school band where we thought, ‘Oh, great! There’s going to be band kids!'”
But those friends from band mistreated him often. Jackson accepted part of the blame, saying he allowed them to treat him poorly, too.
“Like, ‘They can do whatever they want, I’m all right. I can be in the back.’ But I never really liked it. . It really hurts me when it’s almost every time that I’m just in the back, tagging along, and barely anyone is talking to me.”
Despite how horrible Jackson felt after his so-called friends betrayed him, there is a happy ending to his prom story. A group of juniors in the band knew what had happened and decided to make things right for Jackson.
Sophie reached out to Jackson’s mom with a plan she had hatched. She asked Sheila to hide Jackson’s suit in the trunk of his car on Memorial Day.
She invited Jackson to her house just to hang out with a group of kids for the holiday. After he worked out, he headed over to Sophie’s only to receive the surprise of a lifetime.
The kids answered the door dressed in their prom clothes and shouted “Happy fake prom!” Jackson was stunned!
“I was flabbergasted. I didn’t know how to respond. I’m in the bathroom changing [into my suit] and I kind of shed a tear a little bit, because no one has ever done this for me, really ever. . This is what it means to receive a gift from friends who are doing something, particularly for me.”
The group spent the afternoon reliving prom for Jackson, posing for photos and eating their “fake prom” cake. He couldn’t believe the kids put this together for him.
Jackson shared that the other kids from prom told him they were disorganized and that’s why he was left out. But Jackson knows better.
He also wants other kids to realize they should choose their friends wisely and make sure those friends are treating you kindly. If they aren’t, take a life lesson from him and find new friends, he said.
Jackson’s new friends were exactly what he needed at a low point in his life. These teens are a prime example of how we should all act and uplift others when they’re down. Bravo kids!