The University of Tennessee has created t-shirts just like the one a Florida student was bullied for wearing this week at his school’s college colors day.
Laura Snyder, who is a teacher at the school, shared a picture to Facebook of the student wearing an orange t-shirt with a piece of paper attached that had the letters “U.T.” drawn on it to celebrate his beloved Tennessee Vols.
The post read:
Last week, my elementary school participated in college colors day. When I told my students about this day a week before, this particular child came to me and told me that he wanted to wear a University of Tennessee shirt, but he didn’t have one. We discussed that he could wear an orange shirt to show his spirit. He told me every day leading up to it that he had an orange shirt that he was going to wear. So when the day finally arrived, he was SO EXCITED to show me his shirt. I was impressed that he took it one step further to make his own label.
However, the teacher said two girls who did not participate in the college colors day made fun of his homemade shirt.
“He was DEVASTATED,” she wrote. “I know kids can be cruel, I am aware that it’s not the fanciest sign, BUT this kid used the resources he had available to him to participate in a spirit day (one that I celebrated all week: Go Noles).”
Snyder said she planned on getting the boy a t-shirt and asked anyone with connections to the university if they could help by making it “a little extra special for him.”
Thousands of shares later, the University of Tennessee heard about the student and decided to do something about it.
“Because of this, my student will be receiving an awesome care package from the University of Tennessee tomorrow morning! I’m so excited to share this with him (he doesn’t know about any of this yet)!!” Snyder wrote.
On Friday, local reporter Amelia Young tweeted a photo of the student when he received the care package.
“AND HERE IT IS!!! The moment we’ve been waiting for is here… our little Florida Vol who was bullied for making his own UT shirt received his VERY huge delivery from
@UTKnoxville this morning! He says he’s SO thankful and grateful for all of Vol Nation’s support!!”:
AND HERE IT IS!!! The moment we've been waiting for is here… our little Florida Vol who was bullied for making his own UT shirt received his VERY huge delivery from @UTKnoxville this morning! He says he's SO thankful and grateful for all of Vol Nation's support!! @UTVolShop pic.twitter.com/HUUKLq30je
— Amelia Young (@ameliayoung) September 6, 2019
The VolShop tweeted a picture of the t-shirt they designed to look exactly like the one the student had created on his own.
Additionally, the college said a portion of the proceeds will be used to help end bullying.
Share in a Florida elementary student's Volunteer pride by wearing his design on your shirt too! Pre-order today for a late September expected delivery. A portion of proceeds from every shirt sold will be donated to @STOMPOutBullyng .https://t.co/NdnTtYREFL pic.twitter.com/OeTZvgC09Y
— VolShop (@UTVolShop) September 6, 2019
The university’s interim president, Randy Boyd, also tweeted about the boy on Friday.
“I was touched to learn of a young Florida school student’s heart for the University of Tennessee, and I LOVED his imagination behind designing his own shirt,” he wrote. “So many of us admire his love for UT and it’s awesome to see everyone step up to send him some UT gear!”
Snyder also thanked the university and social media users for showering her student with kindness.
“He is definitely a Vols fan, and the Vols Nation has made sure he will be set for college colors day for quite some time!” she concluded.