Dressed in his pink T-shirt, William, aged nine, felt very happy.
Yet on arriving at school, the 9-year-old was badly received by bullies, who said he was “sissy”.
The only reason was because he’d worn a pink shirt.
Devastated, Will went home crying.
The boy, William Gierke, only thought he was supporting those with cancer. It’s why he picked out a shirt which meant something to him.
The T-shirt, made by a breast cancer awareness fund, read “Tough Guys Wear Pink” on the front.
Unfortunately, his schoolmates hadn’t the same perspective on his choice of wardrobe. Rather, they picked on William and said he was “sissy” because he’d worn pink.
His mother Tomi couldn’t stand it when Will came back home on the verge of tears.
The day after, Will had wanted to stay away from school. Tomi didn’t know how to go about helping her son. Fortunately, though, Will’s teacher had noticed.
Teaching a lesson about bullying, with kindness
The next day, on arriving for class, Will thought he’d be bullied once more. However, what he noticed next, was his teacher’s outfit.
David Winter, his sharp-eyed teacher, had spotted the events of the previous day.
He’d noticed William’s bullies picking on him for wearing a pink shirt. Thus, he figured he’d wear his own pink T as a sign of support for Will.
It gets better.
What was a small touch from Mr. Winters meant so much more to Will. On top of everything, he’d sent a message that William’s classmates heard loud and clear—picking on others for their choice of clothes isn’t something we do.
“I feel more comfortable, I don’t let it bother me anymore,” shared Will, once he’d seen Mr. Winter’s support.
We don’t reckon any kid deserves to be picked on because of what they wear. Especially not if that clothing is a show of solidarity for those suffering.
Frequently, this kind of comment can pass under the radar, yet Mr. Winter listened, noticed, and had his student’s back. What a great example for other teachers!