Memphis Students Buy New Clothes For Freshman After He's Bullied For Wearing The Same Outfit Every Day
Though we may never be able to get rid of bullying entirely, there will always be some good-hearted students who do their part to stand up for its victims.
At MLK Preparatory School in Memphis, Tennessee, first-year student Michael Todd had been bullied for weeks due to the fact that he wears the same clothes every day.
"I've been bullied my entire life...I really don't have clothes at home. My mom can't buy clothes for me because I'm growing too fast."
This bullying was noticed by football players Kristopher Graham and Antwan Garrett, who had also teased Todd in the past.
One day, during third period, Todd was asked to step out of his third period class, where he found Graham and Garrett waiting for him with a gift. The exchange was captured on video and shared to Reddit, where it went viral.
Graham and Garrett went through their closet and found a whole new wardrobe for Todd, who took the gifts hesitantly, unsure what to make of them.
Graham later told the story to Fox13.
"He wasn't smiling or anything, and I was like 'I think this is going to make you smile.' We're in the same third period and I apologize for laughing at you, and I want to give you something to make it up."
After a brief period of uncertainty, Todd told the pair of football players:
"You guys are the best guys of my entire life."
On Reddit, the video quickly gained over 84k upvotes for its heartwarming nature.
Users chimed in on the comments.
Nephtyz hopes things turn up in the future.
"Kid is down and in a very vulnerable state. Hard to feel happy when you're in that place, it can take a while to feel whole again. Hopefully that gift will give him back the confidence he needs."
untide knows this is just the first of many things to come.
"The kindness they are showing him is a seed planted in a desert. Will take a lot of love and attention to flower but it's definitely a step in the right direction. I hope he grows like those fields in Holland."
SoVerySleepy felt for the bullied young man.
"He almost looked like he was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like okay these guys are pretending to be nice to me, when is the bad stuff going to start."
"Poor kid. Also the kids that are giving him stuff are great kids."
CricketSongs had mixed feelings about the gesture.
"Yeah, I'm... pretty conflicted about the way this was done and the fact that it was shared like this. It's an incredibly sweet gesture, but it really seems like he was unsure of their intentions, probably uncomfortable with having it done so publicly, and quite possibly embarrassed even further with it being filmed and shared online."
"I think it's important to show others that kindness has value and to lead by example, but putting someone in the spotlight like this also runs the risk of reducing them into an object lesson. It focuses on the giver, on the gesture, on the symbolic value...but inadvertently ignores how the recipient might feel about being the subject of public charity. Especially in a high school setting, that could very likely lead to more bullying."
"If someone had done this to me in public while I was in high school (and then shared it to social media) I would've been really embarrassed and I would've felt like I was just being used as some kind of prop."
"And I remember when I was in middle school, a group of girls made a plan to ironically compliment my appearance together just so that they could laugh about it as they walked away. I can't help but think that maybe this kid is just wondering when those boys are going to start laughing."
"I know I sound cynical as hell, and I'm not trying to downplay the act of kindness because kindness matters, especially in that kind of setting. And I'm not saying that these boys did anything wrong, because they probably had the best intentions. I just think it's important to consider the context and the recipient's perspective whenever you consider doing something like this. And maybe do it in a more private way. Because, while it's certainly important to show the world that compassion matters, it's also important to show people who are hurting that their feelings matter, too."
"There are other ways to demonstrate kindness to the world (while also doing acts of kindness like this one more privately)."
NomadicDevMason thinks humanity is on the rise. He's not wrong.
"I have worked with middle and high school kids the last ten years. The new generation is so much kinder and accepting than when I was in school. Kids are still kids but I think people are getting better."
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