Hope for America – Tennessee Teen Bullied for Wearing Same Clothes Gets Gift

 In Domestic, opinion

Every day we are deluged with hate,  mockery, and vicious attacks on people who were minding their own business. Though part of that is a media-driven narrative,  it’s not the entire story. A Tennessee teen that was bullied all his life, because his Mom didn’t have enough money to buy him clothes all the time, got a gift. And that gift brings hope for America.

Michael Todd is a freshman at MLK Prep School in Memphis, Tennessee. He told Fox13 that his first three weeks at the school were a nightmare- because his Mom couldn’t afford to get him clothes at a time when he was growing so fast. He was bullied by his classmates who made fun of his same outfit worn every day.

“When I saw people laugh at him and bully him, I felt like I needed to do something.” Kristopher Graham

Two high school football players, Kristopher Graham and Antwan Garrett, did something important.  One of the two was someone who laughed at the teen for his lack of wardrobe.

Graham and Garrett went through their closets and gifted Todd with shirts, shorts, and other items…even a brand new pair of shoes.

“He wasn’t smiling, and I was like, ‘I think this is going to make you smile.’ I said, ‘We’re in the same third period.’ He was like, ‘yeah.’ I said, ‘I apologize for laughing at you, and I want to give something to you to make it up.'” Kristopher Graham

hope for america

Screenshot via Fox13

Clothes do not make the person, but lack of them can make a person’s self-image fall.  Todd told the news outlet that he was shocked completely- because no one had ever given him a gift. He said that he had been bullied his entire life.

“I almost cried when he told me, he was like, ‘you two [are] the only two to actually ever give me a gift.'” Kristopher Graham

When Fox13 released the story, people from other states began asking how they could help. The address and sizes are in the Fox13 article, as is a way to donate funds. The school has set up a “clothing closet” to help students that are in the same situation. The region has a median income below the national average.

Why is this story hope for America? Michael Todd is white, Kristopher Graham and Antwann Garrett are black. There was no racial divide here as soon as they realized a fellow student had nothing, and needed their help.  Hopefully, now they will be friends, and sharing will become part of their lives in the future. That brings hope for America.


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  • Drew

    When I was in the 8th grade, I began having my “growth spurt” the first month of school – right after my parents bought me some back to school clothes. We weren’t poor, but as anyone who has raised a family knows, it can be a struggle at times, especially when there are 3 children needing back to school clothes and supplies. I grew an inch each month of that school year, so my clothes never fit for more than a few weeks. My mom would buy them too large, thinking I would grow into them, but I looked like a hobo until they would fit. Then they would only “fit” for a short time before I looked like Jethro (Beverly Hillbillies, for those too young to know the reference). My parents have always joked about that year being “the year we almost we to the poor house just for trying to keep you clothed”.

    My situation wasn’t nearly dire as this young man’s was, but I can relate to the mockery and verbal abuse that he has experienced. Fortunately for me, by the time that 8th grade school year was over, I was 6 foot 1. All my bullies disappeared. I continued to grow until I reached 6 foot 6, and now I make other peoples’ bullies disappear.

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