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Gym Teacher Buys Matching Sequined Pencil Case To Support Bullied Kindergartner

A New York City gym teacher recently went above and beyond to show his support for a young student who was being bullied for bringing a sequined pencil case to school.

According to Cafe Mom, Joe Klonowski took to Reddit to share the heartwarming story of how he managed to stop the ruthless bullying in its tracks, all by making one very special purchase.

Klonowski explained that although it's only his first year of teaching at the elementary school, he's already beloved by all the students.

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And with all the attention and admiration he receives from so many young minds on a daily basis, he makes sure he sets a good example for them.

In fact, he said his career is defined by one very simple, but important motto: "Be the teacher who you needed growing up."

It was that philosophy that inspired him to do something when he noticed one of his young students was having a difficult time with some of his classmates.

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The boy, who is in the kindergarten class Klonowski regularly interacts with, had started bringing a sparkly, sequined pencil case to class with him, one which he was incredibly proud of.

"He would sit there and pet it and change the sequins all the time," Klonowski told Cafe Mom. "He would walk around and show it to his other classmates, even to me when I would pop into the room."

However, the boy's classmates weren't as dazzled by the sparkly pencil case, and started giving him a hard time for carrying it around.

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One student in particular accused the boy of carrying around a "purse", to which he corrected them and said it was actually a pencil case.

But the other student was adamant that the sequined accessory didn't belong in the boy's hands and said "it was for girls."

Although the kindergarten teacher handled the situation, Klonowski noticed the boy no longer showed off the pencil case like he once did.

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In fact, he stopped bringing it out altogether and kept it hidden in his backpack, something which inspired the gym teacher to take action.

"It was at that point that I knew the class very well, and many of the students, including the bully, were very fond of me," Klonowski recalled "So I decided if I was able to get the pencil case, that I would show it off to the class and hopefully make that student feel comfortable enough to take it back out."

He wasn't able to find the exact case that the boy had, but he was able to find something just as spectacularly sparkly — a sequined bathing suit bag.

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"His reaction was fantastic," the gym teacher told Cafe Mom of the big reveal to the bullied student. "He ran over and grabbed [his] pencil case and brought it back to me. At that point I asked him if we could trade so I could look at his case and he could look at mine."

In a now-viral Reddit post, Klonowski shared a touching photo of himself and the boy posing together with their fabulous accessories, proving once and for all that enjoying sequins is not gender-specific.

Of course, once the students saw their favorite teacher with a sequined bag, it suddenly became all the rage.

Even the student who was responsible for bullying the boy came over to admire Klonowski's new accessory, prompting the gym teacher to have a frank discussion with him about his hurtful words.

"I spoke to him and told him how I knew how he picked on that other student and how it wasn't right," he explained. "Hopefully I at least opened his eyes a little bit!"

h/t: Cafe Mom, Reddit