United in pink at SFES



A simple act of kindness in support of a fourth-grade student at Sheboygan Falls Elementary School student dealing with a form of bullying drew attention from area television media and social media outlets last week. Public outpouring of support began shortly after Tomi Genske posted a photo and message on Facebook detailing her 9-year-old son William's struggle with verbal abuse and threats from fellow classmates when he wore a pink shirt to school. “It was so bad that when I went to drop him off at school the next day, he became physically sick because he was so afraid of what the other kids were going to do to him based on the threats that were made the day before,” Tomi Genske wrote in her Facebook post. “I promised I would get in touch with the principal and get everything figured out. Immediately I emailed the school and within a half hour I had a response from the administrator [Jean Born] saying that the matter would be taken seriously and that they would be getting William's teacher involved as well. A few hours passed and I got another email from the principal [Lynn Bub] saying that the child/children who did the bullying had been identified and that they assured William his school was a safe place.” She went on to note that William's fourth-grade teacher, Dan Winter, emailed her a short time later saying that he was going to pull out his pink shirts to wear to school in support of William and to show the other kids, "Boys can wear pink too." “When I told William about Mr. Winter's decision, William decided that he was going to wear pink that day as well,” Tomi said. “I can't thank the school, Mr. Winter and the staff at the YMCA enough for all of their help and support with this tough issue. I am a proud parent for so many reasons and one of them is because my son knows how to 'forgive and forget.' William and the group of kids who inspired this random act of kindness by an amazing teacher have talked and made this water under the bridge. I do not want people to remember this experience as the little boy who got picked on, but to remember this as the little boy who embraced the moment and showed his classmates it is okay to be uniquely you, even if that means you are a boy who wears pink.” Submitted photo A simple act of kindness in support of a fourth-grade student at Sheboygan Falls Elementary School student dealing with a form of bullying drew attention from area television media and social media outlets last week. Public outpouring of support began shortly after Tomi Genske posted a photo and message on Facebook detailing her 9-year-old son William's struggle with verbal abuse and threats from fellow classmates when he wore a pink shirt to school. “It was so bad that when I went to drop him off at school the next day, he became physically sick because he was so afraid of what the other kids were going to do to him based on the threats that were made the day before,” Tomi Genske wrote in her Facebook post. “I promised I would get in touch with the principal and get everything figured out. Immediately I emailed the school and within a half hour I had a response from the administrator [Jean Born] saying that the matter would be taken seriously and that they would be getting William's teacher involved as well. A few hours passed and I got another email from the principal [Lynn Bub] saying that the child/children who did the bullying had been identified and that they assured William his school was a safe place.” She went on to note that William's fourth-grade teacher, Dan Winter, emailed her a short time later saying that he was going to pull out his pink shirts to wear to school in support of William and to show the other kids, "Boys can wear pink too." “When I told William about Mr. Winter's decision, William decided that he was going to wear pink that day as well,” Tomi said. “I can't thank the school, Mr. Winter and the staff at the YMCA enough for all of their help and support with this tough issue. I am a proud parent for so many reasons and one of them is because my son knows how to 'forgive and forget.' William and the group of kids who inspired this random act of kindness by an amazing teacher have talked and made this water under the bridge. I do not want people to remember this experience as the little boy who got picked on, but to remember this as the little boy who embraced the moment and showed his classmates it is okay to be uniquely you, even if that means you are a boy who wears pink.” Submitted photo

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