Lauren Jenkins, a seventh grader at the Lincoln Middle School, has been a victim of daily intimidation and bullying on account of having the unfortunate trait of a discernable personality.
Lauren is often called “Snoren,” “Boren,” or “Whoren” by her peers, due to her interest in books outside the Hunger Games trilogy and meaningful friendships with boys her own age.
“She even raises her hand and answers questions in class,” says one fellow student. “So people started calling her Diarrhea Mouth.”
“I understand how having a personality makes me seem weird,” Lauren explains, “But it’s not something I can help. I’m just trying to make the best of it.”
“She isn’t like the other girls and it’s just really weird and annoying,” says Melanie, whose dad owns a Hummer. “I just don’t understand why she insists on wearing that frog backpack.”
Though the bullying affects Lauren emotionally, it does not compel her to change: “I just don’t really have the energy to pretend to like things I don’t care about, and I’d rather not spend my babysitting money on Uggs. I’m saving up for a ferret.”
She also bravely takes comfort in the fact that middle school will ultimately end. “I spend Saturday nights going to movies with my mom and her friends,” she says, “I just find them more interesting to talk to than the kids at school.”
Because of the bullying and harassment, Lauren’s parents are considering sending her to a special private school for other children who struggle with having a personality: the Lincoln High School for the Arts.