Williams began wearing a wig to school to help with her self-confidence after years of bullying. After the latest incident was recorded on video and posted to Snapchat, her family decided to take a stand.
They posted the video and pictures of Williams’s damaged scalp after the bullies tore off the wig, which was held to her head by clips and glue.
The Williams family received overwhelming support from other families from as far as Belgium and Nigeria, many of whom had similar experiences of school bullying.
“By doing this, they’ve helped me reach out to other girls who are dealing with the same things,” the teenager told the newspaper.
Williams’s mother Myckelle Williams said she had spoken to school administration officials about bullying in the past but felt they had not taken her concerns seriously.
“Once she got to the school, immediately girls started attacking her,” she said. “I was going to the school constantly. These were seniors, girls who are 17, 18. My daughter’s 14 at the time, and she’s enduring this.”
Myckelle Williams said her daughter had become so frustrated by the constant bullying that she posted a message on social media saying she “wished she had a gun.”
Franklin High School officials said they began investigating the incident as soon as it was reported.
“This type of behavior can never be tolerated at school,” a Williamson County Schools spokesperson told The Tennessean. “In addition to school discipline, WCS prosecutes delinquent behavior to the fullest extent of the law.”
Since the horrific incident, Lauren Williams has shaved her head in a note of defiance against her bullies.
“Your beauty isn’t defined by the number of strands on your head,” she said. “Ever since I shaved it, I feel free. I’m not held down by my hair. I’m not defined by it — I’m defining myself.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- What parents need to know about ‘bullycide’
- Dad makes surprising offer to his daughter’s bullies: Come to her funeral to ‘witness the complete devastation you have created’
- When bullying leads to suicide, are schools responsible?