Kids can be cruel beyond belief, and this was put on full display after a boy in elementary school was teased relentlessly after he wore a homemade University of Tennessee shirt to school for “College Colors Day.” The shirt soon went viral with the University of Tennesse reaching out to the boy for a special surprise.
Laura Snyder, the boy’s teacher at Altamonte Elementary School in Altamonte Springs, Florida, explained that the young boy didn’t have a UT shirt of his own. Instead of being discouraged, though, the boy created his own with an orange shirt and a piece of paper that had a hand-drawn “U.T.,” WATE reported.
He was ecstatic at first, but by lunchtime the boy was in tears. “Some girls at the lunch table next to his (who didn’t even participate in college colors day) had made fun of his sign that he had attached to his shirt. He was DEVASTATED,” Snyder explained in the now-viral Facebook post.
Snyder’s heart was broken from seeing the young boy teased by so many of his classmates. Knowing she had to do something, Snyder reached out on social media to see if anyone had contacts at the university.
Within days, the University of Tennessee had caught wind of the post and incident, sending the young fan a box full of swag.
“My student was so amazed at all the goodies in the box,” she said. “He proudly put on the jersey and one of the many hats in the box. All who saw had either goosebumps or tears while we explained that he had inspired and touched the lives of so many people.”
If that wasn’t already enough, the university announced the boy’s shirt design would become an official T-shirt, CNN reported. The University of Tennessee also announced that a portion of the proceeds would go to the anti-bullying foundation.
“When I told him that his design was being made into a real shirt and people wanted to wear it, his jaw dropped,” said Snyder. “He had a big smile on his face, walked taller, and I could tell his confidence grew today!”