CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte man has gone viral after he posted a photo on his Facebook page to stand with a young family member who was being bullied.
David Pendragon says his cousin Emily posted online that her son was being made fun of at school. Ten-year-old Ryker, who lives in Gaston, South Carolina, loves cats and was excited about his new lunchbox that featured bright colors and photos of cats.
The next day, he didn't want to bring his lunch anymore, he wanted to buy the school lunch.
"His teacher said he had been teased about it and some of the kids asked him, 'is that your sister's lunchbox?'," Pendragon told WBTV's Kristen Hampton. "She just wrote a post about it just as a frustrated mom, sort of lamenting the way the kids were behaving."
That's when Pendragon decided he wanted to do something to stand by his family.
"I have ordered the same lunchbox for myself and proudly carried it to work today at my large, conservative, corporate workplace," he wrote on Facebook. "I've told anyone who asked the story behind my lunchbox and to a person, they all stand with Ryker, too."
Pendragon said he was a sensitive kid, too, I went through a lot of bullying. He thought he could show his little cousin a different side of things.
"There's no one way to be a man. Men can be colorful. Men can be expressive. Men can be emotional and silly and gleeful," he posted. "In a world where you can be anything, the best thing you can be is kind. I wanted him to see that. And I wanted anybody who had forgotten that, to see that."
He posted a photo of himself holding the lunchbox at work and the photo went viral, being shared more than 33,000 times by Wednesday afternoon.
"I love my new lunchbox and I hope Ryker and all the other boys out there can see that their passion and self-expression is never something to be ashamed of," he said.
Pendragon says he ordered the lunch box on Amazon for $14. The retailer that sells this particular lunchbox, has sold out of it twice since Tuesday. It is currently unavailable.
"Ryker's been carrying the lunch box to school ever since. And he's happy and no one's giving him any more trouble about it.," Pendragon said.