Miss Utah hopeful takes autistic high schooler to homecoming after classmates play cruel prank

A Utah high school student got the last laugh after receiving a fake invitation to homecoming from bullies, as it led to a Miss Utah hopeful taking him to the big dance.

Shortly after Labor Day, Taylorsville High School student Michael Conrad was the target of a cruel prank in which anonymous tormenters egged his house and left behind a homecoming invitation, Fox 13 reports.

(Chad Braithwaite/Faces Photography)

“I’m sorry for the mess. But how about I make it up to you by taking you to Homecoming?” the note read.


(Chad Braithwaite/Faces Photography)

According to KSL, the fake invite was attributed to a cheerleader whom Michael is friends with. His mother, Jennifer Conrad, told Fox 13 that someone even “kissed the paper.”

Working up the courage to approach his friend in school about her supposed offer, she was sad to deliver bad news.

“She said, 'Michael, I already have a date. I’m so sorry. I had nothing to do with that.' She felt bad,” his mom recalled.

Though Michael brushed the matter off, Jennifer wasn’t so easily forgiving. Her son has autism and ADHD, and she said the incident impacted him negatively.

“I was out for blood. Mama bear was awoken,” Jennifer told Fox 13.

(Chad Braithwaite/Faces Photography)

Word of the cruel stunt spread quickly, and debate teacher Jenn Palomino was determined to right the “terrible incident” for her former student, KSL reports, so she reached out to Miss Greater Salt Lake, Dexonna Talbot.

“The second I heard about this, I knew I wanted to do something,” Talbot said. “I automatically broke down into tears, because just thinking about the fact that someone would go out of their way to make someone else feel bad is so heartbreaking to me.”

Luckily, "angel" Talbot was quick to intervene, Jennifer said.

(Chad Braithwaite/Faces Photography)

Surprising Michael during history class with a poster and a bucket of Starburst, Talbot asked him to attend the homecoming dance with her, and he happily accepted.

Footage of the sweet scene has since gone viral on Twitter, racking up over 25,000 views.

Talbot says she felt the small gesture of asking Michael to the dance would have a major impact on the school community.

“I really wanted to make sure it was at the school. So that way, those people who have been bullying could see something positive was coming from this and that they weren’t winning,” she told Fox 13.

On Saturday night, the pair dressed up, hit the dance and had a great time.


“This wasn’t a publicity stunt of any kind for her. She’s just got a tender heart. And she has really made my son's year. So, thank you!” Jennifer said.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to take him to his homecoming and witness so many people coming together to support a really good cause. We had a fantastic time!” Talbot told Fox News of the highly anticipated event. “I am so inspired by Michael and his conviction to not let the bullies get him down.”

Talbot is a freshman at the University of Utah, where she is currently pursuing a degree in ballet and hopes to obtain a Master’s Degree in special education.

She will compete for the Miss Utah crown next year.