How a Case of Bullying Led to an Internet Crash
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville had to have some major website maintenance after this weekend. At the time of wriring this, it is actually still down, or at least running extremely slow. The Volunteer fan base (yes the mascot is a Volunteer) is thrilled about this and for good reason. It started with an Altamonte Elementary School student representing the Tennessee Volunteers the best way that he could come up with.
A student in Florida had an opportunity to wear clothing to support his favorite college team last week. The problem was that in Florida, his parents couldn’t find any last minute Tennessee Volunteer gear. After discussing with his teacher, the student chose to make his own shirt. He drew his own logo and pinned it to an orange T-shirt.
Unfortunately, kids can be mean at that age. Some girls made fun of the shirt at lunch time. This was devastating to the young fan, bringing him to tears and diminishing the pride he had in his shirt.
His teacher was not having any of this, and she now has the respect of the nation for her actions. She asked people through social media, to reach out to their contacts with the University of Tennessee. She wanted to purchase him a Vols shirt, and was looking for them to make it extra special for the young fan. The Vols Alumni, fans, and supporters took her request to the next level.
The school, as well as alumni and many other people who seen the post were quick to react. Packages were being mailed, as well as hand delivered to the student. He now has more than enough Tennessee gear for his entire life. Of course the student was thrilled beyond belief, so excited to have his own Vols gear. These fans though made this a day that he will never forget by going a step further.
The Tennessee Volunteers online store took his original design, and brought it into reality. They designed a t-shirt with his home-made logo on it and put it up for sale on the shop. His teacher said that his reaction to finding this out was priceless. “He had a big smile on his face, walked taller, and I could tell his confidence grew today” said his teacher.
Not only did they agree to create the shirt and sell it, but a portion of all proceeds are going towards STOMP out bullying. So Vols stepping up to not only make this kid’s day, but also to raise money and awareness to stop bullying. All of this went viral and the store got so much traffic that the website crashed. Luckily it appears to be back up, and the shirts are available for pre-order.
People who want to show their support can purchase a shirt online at the Vols Store.
I usually don’t wear orange unless I am hunting. Also, I have not followed Tennessee since last years run in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I still plan on purchasing one of the shirts on the principle of a good cause.
On a side note, hopefully this good fortune will rub off on the football team. The Tennessee Football team is off to an 0-2 start so they need any good luck they can get.
Credit to Interim President Randy Boyd for his support. Maybe this will help land the position so you can drop the term “Interim.”