This boy decided to wear a pink shirt to school one day to show his support for a breast cancer awareness campaign. But instead of being praised for his act, he returned home from school in tears. His mother was worried at first, but upon seeing the teacher’s brilliant response, both she and her son were feeling good again.
Fourth grader William Gierke wore a pink t-shirt with big letters that read: “Tough guys wear pink,” to Sheboygan Falls Elementary School. He was proud to wear this shirt as it was part of a breast cancer awareness campaign.
Little did William expect to get picked on for wearing pink. Bullies called him a “sissy.” William returned home crying, and it broke his mother’s heart.
William was so traumatized that he was afraid to return to school. His mother, Tomi Genske, wasn’t sure what to do.
Fortunately, the next day when William went back to school, his fourth grade teacher, Dan Winter, showed his solidarity with young Gierke by wearing pink. In fact, Mr. Winter wore pink for a week!
“It started out as a way to help William feel safe at school, and that’s what I want it to be is a way for him to feel that way and to know that he’s supported,” Mr. Winter told TMJ4.
Indeed. Mr. Winter’s simple act warmed William’s heart, and delivered a strong message to the bullies. Now, William is not afraid to stand out.
“It made me feel really happy,” said William. “I feel a lot more comfortable; I don’t let it bother me anymore.”
William texted a photo of himself and Mr. Winter, both wearing their pink shirts, to his mom. When his mom saw the picture, she knew William was in good hands. She then shared their photo and the story behind it on Facebook, as a way to honor Mr. Winter. Within hours, it went viral.
“It was just supposed to be a way to thank his teacher,” said the boy’s mom. “But it turned into a giant movement in this area. It’s been awesome.”
Many netizens showed their support and praised Mr. Winter for his kindness.
Well… William’s story does prove “tough guys wear pink.”
Photo credit: YouTube screenshot | TODAY’S TMJ4.