Class of 2032? Tennessee significantly ups the ante to support young bullied fan
Every time you think this story can’t get any better, it makes one more step.
A story that went viral in the last week centered on a Florida boy who wanted to wear a Tennessee shirt to school on “College Colors” day, but didn’t have one. He instead made a homemade version and wore it to school. However, he was bullied and became so upset, he cried in his teacher’s classroom.
Soon after the teacher’s Facebook post went public and spread around social media, loads of Tennessee and college football fans sent shirts and plenty of support. Tennessee’s famous Rock also displayed the T-shirt design earlier this week.
Her followup post said this: “UT really outdid themselves!! I was so excited to surprise my student today!! I’m not even sure I can put into words his reaction. It was so heartwarming. My student was so amazed at all the goodies in the box. 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. When I told him that his design was being made into a real shirt and people wanted to wear it, his jaw dropped. 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!!”
Earlier this week, the school said it sold more than 16,000 T-shirts in its bookstore with his design, and the school’s famous Rock had painted an image of the homemade shirt.
Now, the university said in a release that, “in recognition of the fourth-grader’s Volunteer spirit, the university has extended an offer of admission for him to join the Class of 2032. In addition, he has been awarded a four-year scholarship covering his tuition and fees beginning fall 2028 should he decide to attend UT and meet admission requirements.”
UT said more than 50,000 shirts featuring the boy’s design have been pre-sold by the VolShop. All proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go directly to the charity Stomp Out Bullying. The university will cover the cost of the scholarship separately. Orders will begin shipping later this month.
University officials have spoken several times with the boy’s mother, who has expressed gratitude to the university and said the family has been deeply touched by the overwhelming outpouring from people around the world.
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