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4th Grader Is Bullied for Wearing Pink Shirt – Teacher Notices and Steps in for Him

Salwa Nadeem
Jun 14, 2022
03:30 P.M.

When a 4th-grader wore a pink-colored shirt to school that said "tough guys wear pink," other children made fun of him. The little boy had no idea that his fashion sense wouldn't sit well with his classmates.

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Where do most people get bullied? Many people would admit to getting bullied for the first time in school. According to research, 20% of children in the U.S. aged 12-18 years have reported getting bullied. Most of them said their bullies were people who influenced how other people thought of them.

About 50% of the victims said their bully was a famous person having many friends. A significant percentage of children also claimed their bullies were physically stronger than them and had more money. The boy in today's story also faced a similar situation but had no idea that someone would intervene for him.

William Gierke. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

William Gierke. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

AN UNUSUAL REQUEST

Soon after being promoted to 4th grade in 2015, William Gierke told his mother that he didn't want to go to school. The worried mother, Tomi Genske, said her son always loved attending school. She recalled:

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"It just struck me as really odd that Friday that he sat there and he was in tears."

Genske had no idea that William was having a tough time at school because of his classmates. She felt heartbroken after hearing what happened with her son at school.

Tomi Genske. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

Tomi Genske. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

THINGS TOOK A STRANGE TURN

While William was looking forward to studying and having fun in 4th grade, his classmates had other plans. It all started the day he wore a pink t-shirt to school printed with the message "tough guys wear pink." Like many other school kids in the US, William got bullied by his classmates.

The little boy had no idea that his teacher would take a stand for him.

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William Gierke. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

William Gierke. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

Wearing the t-shirt was supposed to increase awareness about breast cancer, but the 4th graders made fun of William for wearing pink. The little boy recalled what happened:

"They started saying, 'why are you wearing pink?' I'm like, 'because I like pink.'"

William Gierke's shirt. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

William Gierke's shirt. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

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THE BULLIES

William's reply didn't satisfy his classmates, so they called him a "sissy." They bullied him for wearing a pink shirt so much that he decided to stop going to school.

Soon, one of the teachers, Dan Winter, noticed how other children insulted William and how their bullying started affecting him. The little boy had no idea that his teacher would take a stand for him.

After that day, Winter wore pink shirts to school to support William. His little gesture made William feel confident about himself and stopped his classmates from calling him names.

William Gierke and Dan Winter. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

William Gierke and Dan Winter. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

THE KIND TEACHER

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Winter came to school in pink shirts for a week, making William smile. Winter clicked a photo with the little boy and sent it to his mother. She recalled:

"I sat at my desk and I actually was in tears."

While William felt happy about the support, his mother shared the photo on her Facebook profile, not knowing it would go viral in no time. After her friends and other Facebook users shared the image more than 320 times, people filled the comments section with kind words.

Dan Winter. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

Dan Winter. | Source: youtube.com/TMJ4 News

THE MASSIVE SUPPORT

Genske said she wasn't expecting the post to go viral in an hour. She was "amazed" by the response she got from the photo. Meanwhile, Winter explained why he wore pink shirts:

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"This started out as a way to help William feel safe at school and that's what I want it to be. It's a way for him to feel that way and to know that he is supported."

William confessed that his teacher's kind gesture had made him feel "more comfortable." He had also stopped bothering about the bullying after receiving so much support from other people.

A little gesture from the teacher's side went a long way. Winter's support gave William the confidence to wear whichever color he liked without the fear of getting bullied by his classmates.

What would you do if you were in Dan Winter's shoes? Would you also do something similar to support William? We would love to know how you would teach his bullies a lesson.

Click here to read another bullying experience narrated by a woman whose friends and family shamed her for wearing a "small" ring that her fiancé gave her.

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