Message of Bullied Student’s Vols T-Shirt Design Goes Global

Boy's T-Shirt @UTVolShop
Twitter/@UTVolShop

The message surrounding a young Florida student’s homemade T-shirt that he was bullied for wearing is touching hearts across the world.

When the University of Tennessee heard that the boy was made fun of for wearing an orange T-shirt with the letters “U.T.” attached to it in celebration of his beloved Vols, the university took immediate action.

The college created a version of the child’s artwork for an official T-shirt and said 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the nonprofit group called “STOMP Out Bullying.”

Reports said that as of Monday night, more than 16,000 shirts had been sold and as a result the heart-warming story spread to other countries, thanks to the internet.

“There’s literally articles about this shirt in any country you can think of, and I’ve looked at those and said ‘I can’t believe this,'” said VolShop director, Carol Miller-Schaefer, adding that the story “really embodies the whole spirit of the university, the whole Volunteer spirit.”

Ross Ellis, founder and CEO of STOMP Out Bullying, told reporters that she is elated that the elementary school student is getting this kind of positive attention.

“This little boy is getting his justice, and I’m so thrilled for him,” she commented. “You just can’t pick on a kid and think this is OK. For him to get his justice, is just like winning a peace prize, because no one is going to bully him anymore.”

The now viral photo of the child’s shirt was shared by his teacher, Laura Snyder, on her Facebook page last week. She later received a massive response in return for her efforts.

“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)!!” she wrote. 

The boy’s design is now featured on the VolShop website. 

“As the Volunteers, the University of Tennessee believes in putting others before ourselves,” said Tyra Haag, director of media relations for the university. “We’re so glad we were able to support this student, put a smile on his face and bring more orange into his life. In the true spirit of UT, alumni, fans and honorary Volunteers around the world have stepped up.”

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