GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County second-grader's love for Mickey Mouse is serving as a reminder of how there's space for acceptance and kindness this school year.
Conrad Hamric is a big fan of the mouse. This Disney lover had a Mickey Mouse shirt picked out every day for his first week back at school, according to his mother Kaitlyn Hamric. The 7-year-old was all smiles for his first day at Harbins Elementary School.
The next day, though, he opted for a Spider-Man shirt instead. His mother's spidey senses were tingling. She knows her son has been picked on before.
His mother said he eventually admitted that a few boys in his class made fun of him, poking fun that he was too old to like Mickey Mouse.
"He said his feelings were hurt," Kaitlyn said.
Kaitlyn tried to explain to her young son that he should be himself no matter what and encouraged him to stick up for himself.
"But y'all, my mama heart hurts," she said in a heartfelt social media post. "I know I can't always fight his battles. All I can do is try my best to teach him not to care what anyone thinks and to be his own person."
Kaitlyn shared Conrad's story and expressed that it takes a community effort to teach acceptance.
"This is just your friendly reminder as school starts back up please have talks with your children about being kind and how powerful our words can be," Kaitlyn said.
She decided to apply her own advice adding that her goal as a mom is to teach her children to be confident in themselves. Kaitlyn said she decided to go to Walmart before his school's lunch on the lawn event and bought four different Mickey Mouse T-shirts. She arrived at her son's school wearing her T-shirt.
Conrad's teachers caught wind, helping start a Mickey Mouse movement. His teachers approached Kaitlyn, she said, and decided to coordinate a Mickey Day. Students were encouraged to wear their Mickey Mouse best on Monday.
Another educator also had her entire classroom decked out in Mickey Mouse decor and Conrad was brought to be photographed with his favorite mouse.
Teachers, students, and community members participated in the makeshift uniform day. Conrad and his siblings even snapped a family photo sporting their favorite Mickey Mouse shirts.
"I'm allowing my kid to hold on to every ounce of innocence he has left before this mean world tries to corrupt him," Kaitlyn said. "So beyond thankful and grateful for all the support and love!"