Sydney Hightower

ABC/Maarten de Boer

Everyone's experience is their own. 

The Bachelor's Sydney Hightower is clearing up a recent online dispute that she didn't actually face racism or bullying as a student. On last week's episode of the reality TV show, she opened up about being bullied in high school, but after an old classmate accused her of lying about her past and posted photos of their old yearbook page, she's now fighting back. 

"Feels ridiculous I even have to address this. But correct I did win a beauty pageant my senior year of high school," she wrote in a thread on Twitter. "That was voted for by 5 judges.Not by my peers.Winning a pageant based off of outer beauty does not take away the racial bullying,and isolation I've been through." 

She continued, "I was also on the cheer team in middle school and in many clubs in highschool. You'll do anything you can to fit in, and I tried. I won pageants because of my 'looks' and I was in clubs because I wanted a scholarship to get into college . Not because I was accepted by my peers.

She then went on to detail the specific ways she was bullied by her peers throughout her education. "Any one from my high school want to pull out the videos of girls stuffing my locker with Oreo cookies, vandalizing my home, shoving me in the hall ways?" She wrote. "Teachers literally referring to me as a halfbreed? Calling my mother the worst names I've ever heard in my life? I doubt that." 

When it comes to letting people from her past dictate her future, Sydney was pretty clear on where she stands. "Setting the record straight. I've been through so much from the town I grew up in and will not allow my story, or others to be diminished because of one of the same girls, with the same mindsets as the people who terrorized me. Not happening," she explained of her decision to speak out. 

She may have gone on the show to find love, but she's now using that platform to help educate and advocate. "This is extremely vile and the language used in these should never be repeated, I can't believe human beings even speak this way," she shared. "But this is the kinda stuff I've been through but whole life,and the kind of messages I have to read in the hundreds. Daily. No one deserves this." 

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