KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- Officials at the University of Tennessee are offering a scholarship to a young fan reportedly bullied for making his own UT t-shirt and wearing it to school.
It is a story that has captured nationwide attention after a Tallahassee, Florida elementary teacher’s post went viral.
Tallahassee Elementary School teacher Laura Snyder says it was college colors week and the student wanted to represent his favorite team – Tennessee – but he didn’t have a Vols shirt, so he made one.
Snyder said the child was bullied for his homemade shirt so she posted the photo on social media in the hopes of getting him an official Vols shirt.
After University of Tennessee officials discovered the post, Interim President Randy Boyd made sure that student was equipped with plenty of UT Vols fan gear.
Our sister station WATE in Knoxville spoke to Snyder after her student received the care package, “My student was so excited to get the UT care package today! He wore his jersey, hat, and a big smile all day!”
The university would continue to rally behind this young student by making his t-shirt design a reality, and available for the public to preorder through the VolShop.
A portion of the proceeds from every t-shirt sold will be donated to STOMP Out Bullying.
Each t-shirt costs $14.99.
You can learn more about how to purchase one HERE.
The story of support continued Thursday after University of Tennessee officials announced they are offering this student a four-year scholarship covering his tuition and fees starting in the Fall of 2028.
The post on the university’s website read in part, “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.”
University officials said that so far more than 50,000 t-shirts featuring this student’s design have been pre-sold by the VolShop also saying, “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. “