Beacon News

Vol Country extends far and wide, even over enemy lines.

Florida elementary school teacher Laura Snyder shared a photo of a heartbroken student on Facebook earlier this week after he was made fun of for his homemade college colors shirt last Friday.

“This particular child came to me and told me that he wanted to wear a University of Tennessee shirt, but he didn’t have one,” Snyder said in the post. “We discussed that he could wear an orange shirt to show his spirit. He told me every day leading up to it that he had an orange shirt that he was going to wear.”

The student showed up to school wearing an orange shirt with a sheet of paper adorning “UT” letters attached to it.

“I know kids can be cruel, I am aware that it’s not the fanciest sign,” Snyder said in the post,“ BUT this kid used the resources he had available to him to participate in a spirit day.”

Snyder asked for help getting the student UT gear, specifically for connections to the university to help her student feel “a little extra special.”

Not long after taking to Facebook, the UT community responded with an outpouring of love for the Vols fan. In a press conference Thursday, Associate Athletics Director for Fan Experience & Sales Jimmy Delaney said word of the student’s experience quickly made its way to the football team and its staff.

“As a marketing and fan experience guy, I love the creativity that he showed there and it got back to us and got back to the football team, to campus here, to the Vol Shop,” Delaney said, adding that the departments have come together to send him a Volunteer Proud Pack, set to arrive in Florida today.

“Several campus departments donated items for the student, teacher, and entire class,” the VolShop said on Twitter.

The care package includes notebooks, shirts, a signed football from Jeremy Pruitt for himself and some for his classmates. A note from Gus’ Good Times Deli will be included in the package, with a message on bullying.

"We hope you have discussed the consequences of bullying with the children in your class because in Tennessee 'you mess with one of us- you mess with all of us,'" the letter says.

“I think he will go from making his own t-shirts and now being the envy of the school,” Delaney said Thursday. “And you know, the fact that it's an SEC country is a good thing.”

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