Not your average Jeff

Transfer student finds acceptance at H-F

Junior Jeff Peppler is not your average Jeff.
He listens to heavy metal music, wears gauges, has a septum piercing, a tattoo, always wears black and has a variety of combat boots.
Oh, and there’s the red and blonde mohawk.
Peppler came here from Beecher High School, where students weren’t as accepting. He said he was made fun of constantly because of his differences.
However, Peppler says it’s been easier for him to find acceptance since moving to Flossmoor.
“People are always coming up to me petting my hair and giving me compliments,” Peppler said.
Peppler is open about who he is. He wears t-shirts with his favorite bands and often speaks about his interests.
Still, looking different can be hard.
“Some people probably have a problem with it because people are judgemental, but I don’t really care what people think,” Peppler said.
Despite being different, Peppler has adjusted pretty well.  Transferring has been a new opportunity to make friends.
“I don’t really focus too much on his image, that’s not what you’re supposed to look for in a friend,” sophomore Shaniya Wiley said.
While some of his new friends aren’t really concerned about his appearance, others are drawn to him because of it.
“I’ve made several friends being here in the short time that I have because of how I look,” Peppler said. “I’ve made friends that I actually hang out with and then friends that I just see in school”.

There are always a few people who aren’t as accepting as the friends Peppler has made.
“People have a problem, sure, but they’re too afraid to say something about it to me,” he said.
Peppler decided to wear his hair in a mohawk and dress punk rock because of his idols and the music he listens to. He is very passionate about music because of the effect it has had on him.
When people were mean to Peppler at Beecher, he turned to music for solace.
Heavier music is what peaked Peppler’s interest the most.
“I idolize people like Otep Shamaya and Maria Brink from [the band] In This Moment because their music just made me want to be who I am today,” he said.
Ironically, a lot of the friends Peppler has made are girls.
“I don’t like that there aren’t any guys that look like me, but I also feel unique because I’m the only one who looks how I do,” he said.
Transferring has given him the chance to make a better reputation for himself and start over.
“People actually like how I look here unlike Beecher,” Peppler said. “A big difference is people in Beecher were mean to me because they were scared of something different, something unique.”