Hannah Combs’ life was left in shambles when someone poured super glue all over her hair in an unjustified act of hostility. Bullying is a horrific act of aggressive behavior that can deeply affect a victim’s understanding of self-value and identity – it did for Hannah.
Chances are that everyone has been a victim of bullying at one point in their life, which only makes it even more uncomfortable and nauseating when you see someone else being bullied.
Imagine that you are walking down the street, minding your own business on a beautiful day. Behind you, a disturbing commotion erupts and you turn to see a group of young children taunting another young child.
Kids Can Be Cruel.. VERY CRUEL!
Frozen in disbelief, you watch as the group shoves the child to the ground, calling out damaging names. From where you are standing, the hurt and shame can be felt in a tangible way as the unrelenting kids continue to mock the child on the ground.
Sadly, this type of behavior is a common occurrence across the world. Up to 83% of girls and 79% of school-aged children admit to experiencing harassment at some stage. Hannah Combs falls into this high statistic, and her powerful story deserves to be shared.
This 15 Years Old Was The Most Positive Thing You Can Imagine.
At the tender age of 15, Hannah Combs appeared to have everything going for her. She was a freshman at Harker Heights High School in Killeen, Texas where she fit in like a glove. Confident and friendly, Hannah had no problem adjusting to her new surroundings.
The very essence of Hannah’s nature was to be sweet, with positive energy radiating from inside of her. Her father had taught the fine art of being adaptable, and so it wasn’t long before Hannah welcomed new friends in school. However, it wasn’t only friends that she encountered.
Plans Of Prosperity
For Hannah, attending school was a breeze. After studying hard in class, she would enjoy several extracurricular activities that helped the school day fly by in the blink of an eye. Hannah’s nature was full of ambition and despite being kept busy at school, she was always searching for something more, looking for different valuable ventures.
That’s when the young girl decided to join the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program in their school. Perhaps this would be the activity that would quench her thirst for purpose? Hannah believed that the knowledge that she would gain, would help her achieve greatness in life. At the same time, Hannah’s ambition caught the attention of some unsavory characters.
It started off as another ordinary school day for Hannah. During class, she focused her enthusiastic mind on her lessons. After the final bell rang for the day, she met up with her friends. They were planning to all go home together.
Hannah and her friends were waiting outside Harker Heights High School when loud feet rhythmically hit the pavement behind her, increasing in volume the closer that they came. The next thing that she knew, she felt a sticky sensation rain down on her head. A boy had poured superglue in her hair.
The boy who poured the superglue on Hannah’s head disappeared as quickly as he had appeared, leaving the group of freshman reeling in shock at what had just happened. In a matter of a few seconds, Hannah’s world began to spin.
The hasty speed of the attack, as well as the shock that sprung upon the group, meant that no one managed to stop the culprit. Everyone stood in shock at what had just happened outside the school – in broad daylight. When Hannah realized what had happened, she let out a shrill scream, bringing everyone back to their senses.
Catfight Gone Wrong?
Students surrounding the group were completely confused by what was going on. All that they could see was Hannah groping her hair and screaming like hell. Their initial thought was that a catfight had broken out, but as they came closer, they realized the severity of what had just happened.
Hannah’s friends did what they could to try to calm her and help the situation, however, they didn’t have a clue on what to do about the glue. The culprit had disappeared, and it was obvious that Hannah needed immediate attention. One of her classmates took the lead and guided the hysterical Hannah to the school clinic.
A Testament To The Authorities
Hannah had calmed down and was being treated in the nurses’ office. In the meantime, one of Hannah’s friends took the responsibility of phoning her parents, while the others went to look for the bully. They caught him but were shocked by his heartless response.
The bully didn’t feel an inkling of remorse and was let free. Deep feelings of injustice began to bubble up and the group was determined to share their story with the authorities. Back in the nurses’ office, Hannah’s situation proved more serious than they could have predicted.
A Serious Injury
The nurse had done everything that she could within her power to help Hannah, applying first aid measures to her scalp where the superglue had inflicted serious injury. Hannah had sustained first-degree chemical burns on her scalp, making her previous screaming completely understandable.
After the school was certain that Hannah had been treated in the best way possible, the assistant principal approached the bully-victim with a few questions. However, Hannah was in so much pain, that she could hardly speak. As you can imagine, it wasn’t just the physical pain that Hannah was experiencing.
Losing Her Favorite Asset
As a teenage girl, Hannah took deep pride in her hair. She viewed her beautiful brunette locks as one of her finest assets, and couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to hurt either her or her hair.
Being attacked with super glue left Hannah with a lot of physical and emotional damage. She realized that by losing her hair, she had lost a part of her that she loved dearly. In her honest reflections, she goes as far as to say that her hair was the only thing that she liked about herself, and it was taken away from her for no reason. She dreaded the thought of going bald.
A Powerful Family Unit
It wasn’t just Hannah and her friends that were left feeling angry, but also Hannah’s parents. When they found out what had happened outside of the school, their hearts broke and they were overcome with strong feelings of injustice.
Once they were certain that their precious daughter had the necessary treatment that she needed, they set their eyes on making things right. All hell broke loose when Hannah’s dad, Christian, stormed into the school principal’s office.
A Man On A Mission
Christian knew his daughter well. Not only was she ambitious and friendly, but she was also one of the kindest people that he had ever met. He was confident that Hannah would rather suffer than upset anyone else. He owed it to his daughter to make things right.
In the same breath, Christian realized that he had to uphold the positive reputation that Hannah had built for herself at school and so he did his best to remain calm and relaxed.
He spoke to the principal and asked for a heavy punishment to be assigned to the bully. Let it be a lesson for all, that bullying is not acceptable – least of all when his beloved daughter is the victim.
Will Justice Be Served?
Knowing his rights as a parent at the school, Christian demanded a disciplinary meeting – immediately. The principal agreed to the meeting and assured the Combs family that the guilty bully will be appropriately reprimanded.
At the back of their minds, Hannah’s parents knew that the future of the young boy may be affected by the punishment, but they were also determined to have justice for their little girl. The boy was old enough to understand that pouring superglue on someone’s head would result in consequences. It appeared as though the school agreed, but what happened next shocked the Combs family.
The Short Straw
When the school’s verdict was announced, the Combs family was left reeling in shock. While Hannah suffered first degree burns, the bully’s punishment was hardly enough to make an impact.
The bully was suspended from school and was able to walk away from his drastic actions. On the other hand, Hannah would have to shave off half of her hair, her most prized feature. It appeared as though the school’s disciplinary commission merely slapped the bully on the hands, but didn’t make any effort to change his warped behavior. The family decided to take matters into their own hands.
A United Battle
Imagine the worst sunburn that you’ve ever received – and multiply it by 10. That is the burning sensation that Hannah instantly felt when the glue was poured on her head. Christian and Jessica, Hannah’s mother, wouldn’t let the school’s lack of attention allow the bullying to go unnoticed.
They realized that they were fighting a losing battle with the school, and had to drop the bullying case. However, they were not giving up on their quest for justice. Instead, they had figured out a more effective way to have their anti-bullying message heard.
An Online Audience
The school had let the Combs family down, but their voices were only warming up. Jessica decided to tell Hannah’s story in a place where they were guaranteed attention – Facebook. The “Justice for Hannah” Facebook page was created with one simple intention – to raise awareness of bullying.
While the page was originally created for Hannah, the message was for all other children that had ever been in Hannah’s position. Not necessarily those receiving a burnt scalp from superglue, but rather all other children who had experienced bullies at school and been silenced in the aftermath. You won’t believe the noise that the Facebook page made.
Message Through A Megaphone
The response that the family received was overwhelming. Hannah’s parents’ protective instincts had left them furious at the ineffective punishment that the boy received, but knowing full well that they should never seek physical revenge. The Facebook Page gave them the satisfaction that they were looking for.
The family was met with enormous support. People that they didn’t even know were encouraging them to stand up for what is right. Others even shared their own personal stories, adding fuel to the fire of awareness, and growing the campaign against bullying.
It took Hannah’s injury a few weeks to heal, leaving her with scars that will stay with her forever. However, the real scars are the ones that were left in her heart. At first, Hannah was confused about why the boy decided to bully her. She had always made an effort to be kind and felt terrible at the thought of offending anyone.
While Hannah may not have answers to her questions, she will never forget her traumatic experience. There is a patch on her head that will always remain bald, reminding her of the shocking day. But despite the trauma and tragedy, something good did come of Hannah’s story.
A Community Of Support
Hannah had just experienced a horrific incident. She was left with countless questions, a heart of hurt, and a burned scalp. Something else that she received – that she could never have predicted – was overwhelming support from complete strangers.
Hannah was so deeply touched by the encouragement that it inspired her to find a new ambition. She knew what she wanted to do – she was going to be the voice of others who couldn’t stand up for themselves.
A New Purpose
For as long as she could remember, Hannah had tried to find her unique purpose in life. She threw her heart and soul into everything that she did, giving nothing short of her very best. After her traumatic experience, she realized what it was that she was born to do.
Hannah decided that she was going to help others who couldn’t stand up for themselves because of fear. Although the bully had taken a part of her hair, Hannah decided that he would not rob her of her confidence or her values. She had a new spring in her step and a new style on the way.
A Powerful Makeover
While a lot of support came from online and close friends, a breath of fresh air came from Nikki, a local hairstylist. Niki offered Hannah a free haircut to help create something beautiful out of the mess left behind by the superglue.
Nikki was proud to be able to help the incredible young girl get a new, snazzy look. She respected Hannah who had not only suffered a traumatic incident but also overcame it with positive energy and fervor.
A Silver Lining
Hannah’s experience was terrible. She was bullied for no known reason and suffered incredible physical and emotional pain. However, despite the intensely hurtful experience, something good was able to come.
No one could ever have expected how the awful situation could have turned into a story so positive. Today, Hannah is loving her stylish, new look and is boldly using the new platform to help others. While these positive changes are wonderful to see, there is still one burning question at the front of many people’s mind.
Many parents had increased concerns about the way that the school handled Hannah’s bully. Her story going public made one thing for certain, that the bully had gotten off lightly. When asked, the school confirmed that they were still investigating the incident.
Parents of the school are concerned that the boy can still cause pain to other children. Some parents even believe that the police should have been involved. If the boy is not taught to change his behavior, it could snowball into something worse in the years to come.
The Legal Advice
The lack of appropriate punishment led to many parents further questioning the legalities of what happened to Hannah. According to the school district’s code of conduct, the Texas Education Code is quite clear.
“A student SHALL be removed from the regular campus and placed into a DAEP if the student engages in conduct containing elements of the offense of assault (with bodily injury) under 22.01(a)(1) of the Penal Code; (27,28).”
Essentially, the code of conduct classifies assault as a “serious offense” and is punishable by campus probation along with the in-school suspension. This serves as a “final warning” before a DAEP hearing.
A Powerful Story
Despite all of the difficulty and hurt that Hannah went through, she managed to come out stronger and more powerful on the other side. After having superglue poured over her head, burning her scalp and ruining her hair, she managed to use her misfortune for the greater good.
Hannah’s story has raised awareness of bullying in the school, in the community, and across the internet. Although she was a victim of bullying, she managed to see the silver lining and seek justice in a powerful way.