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Tennessee awards a scholarship to a Florida student bullied for his homemade Vols shirt

A Florida student made his own University of Tennessee shirt for College Color Day at his elementary school. The other kids made fun of him. Then, the University made it an official T-shirt.
A Florida student made his own University of Tennessee shirt for College Color Day at his elementary school. The other kids made fun of him. Then, the University made it an official T-shirt. Screenshot of Laura Snyder Facebook

The Florida fourth-grader, who was bullied last week for his homemade University of Tennessee shirt, didn’t just receive a care package full of UT gear, but has his future college education needs secured.

The Volunteers announced Thursday they’re giving the Altamonte Springs Elementary School student a four-year scholarship for the Class of 2032, provided he meets admission requirements and chooses to attend the school.

This comes on the heels of his story generating national attention after his teacher, Laura Snyder had a Facebook post that went viral.

In the post, Snyder detailed how it was college colors day at school and her student wore an orange shirt with his own designed label on it, which was “U.T.” written on paper attached to the shirt.

“After lunch, he came back to my room, put his head on on his desk and was crying,” Snyder’s post read. “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.”

The university sent a care package of Vols gear to Snyder’s classroom for the student. Then, an actual T-shirt using his design was made as an official school T-shirt. Proceeds from the shirt sale, after printing costs, go to nonprofit STOMP Out Bullying.

The Miami Herald reported the website for the shirt crashed earlier this week. As of Thursday, ESPN reported more than 50,000 shirts have been pre-sold.

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.
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