'It changed me': Girl whose hair was set on fire by classmate says ordeal made her stronger

Cherri Gregg
November 21, 2018 - 9:10 pm

Cherri Gregg | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The 13-year-old Wynnefield girl whose hair was set on fire by a classmate is doing well. There's been an outpouring of support.

There's been an outpouring of support for Neveah Robinson. Five weeks ago, she was standing at a SEPTA stop just blocks from the Samuel Gompers Elementary School, when a classmate set her hair on fire. It didn't take long for her story to go viral online. 

"I knew it was going to be a big deal," Robinson told KYW Newsradio, "but not as big a deal as people wanting to help."

READ: Philly Police investigate alleged bullying incident that left teen's scalp singed

She says the ordeal has changed her.

"It changed me to be stronger," she said, "and to keep my guard up on people who act weird or distant and stuff like that."

Neveah Robinson
Otherside.org

Tanya Robinson, Neveah's mother, credits the viral news story for the swift action that kept her daughter safe.

"The young gentleman has been arrested," she said. "He's been released already and he attends another school."

READ: Philly police step up to support girl whose hair was set on fire by classmate

Police say the boy faces arson, aggravated assault and other charges. Robinson says her main focus is Neveah. The good news is it looks like her hair will grow back.

"Other than a few nightmares, she's thriving," said Tanya. "She's gotten all A's and B's on her report card and she's doing what kids do."

Tanya says the public has offered overwhelming support and it's been amazing. She says Naveah's been offered free makeovers, gotten calls and letters from anti-bullying and community groups, as well as a call from as far away as India.  

"I appreciate it and would like to thank every person who reached out," said Neveah.

This weekend, she'll get a makeover and a medal of honor.

"I'm going to give a speech," said Neveah.

As for Thanksgiving, she'll be eating her favorite dish, macaroni and cheese.

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CORRECTION: In an earlier version of ths story, Neveah Robinson's name was misspelled.