Bullied Student Gets a Show of Love From the University of Tennessee

What began as an instance of bullying at a Florida elementary school has become a teachable moment on kindness, creativity, and the power of supportive teachers.

It was College Colors Day at Altamonte Elementary School in Altamonte Springs, Florida and one student couldn’t wait to display the colors of his favorite football team, the University of Tennessee Volunteers. But the boy didn’t actually own any UT apparel, so he wore an orange shirt (the school’s official color) and slapped a hand-drawn “UT” logo on the front.

Not everyone appreciated his resourcefulness. 

“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," said his teacher Laura Snyder in a now viral Facebook post.

Snyder decided to buy her student an official UT shirt. But, first, she asked if anyone had any connections to the school and wanted to help out.

Someone answered the call.

The university reached out to Snyder and said it was sending her student a care package full of UT gear: hats, shirts, you name it. The boy was ecstatic, Snyder said. Then, the university went one step further and announced that the boy’s handmade sign would become an official logo for the UT Vols.

The university is urging fans to buy the new shirt and display it in support of the elementary student who started it all.

“When I told [my student] that his design was being made into a real shirt and people wanted to wear it, his jaw dropped,” Snyder said. “He had a big smile on his face, walked taller, and I could tell his confidence grew today! Thank you to the UT Nation for that!!”

A portion of proceeds from the shirts’ sale will be donated to the STOMP Out Bullying campaign.

You can get yours here. Just beware the site keeps crashing thanks to all the love.