A first grade boy who suffers from a speech impediment got a big surprise when members of a Williams Intermediate School football team in Bridgewater, Massachusetts banded together to support him after it became known the child was being bullied.

Danny Keefe, who is a waterboy for the fifth grade football team, also wears a jacket, tie and fedora to his elementary school each day.  Danny’s differences allegedly made him the target of taunting from other kids.

The Daily Mail has the rest:

So when quarterback Tommy Cooney caught wind that Danny was being teased for his speech and dapper appearance, he jumped into action and came to school sporting a suit in[sic] tie to show his support for the special-needs boy.

The 11-year-old Cooney also spread the word about Danny Appreciation Day among his teammates, including Danny’s older brother, who immediately embraced the idea.

On Wednesday, Cooney and 44 other fifth-graders arrived in school and surrounded the dashing 6-year-old Danny, all dressed in jackets and ties.

‘This is the best day ever,’ a beaming Danny exclaimed as the older kids chanted his name in the library.

The first-grader’s father, Mark Keefe, who is the assistant coach of the Badgers, told the fifth-graders that they should be proud of themselves.

Cooney turned emotional while talking about his team’s beloved waterboy, tearfully explaining to the anchors of Fox 25 that the 6-year-old is part of their ‘band of brothers,’ and they were not going to let anyone bully him.

 

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Danny’s mother said that when she found her son crying in bed the other evening, she asked him what was wrong, reported the Daily Mail. ‘I said, “What’s the matter?” and he said he felt very loved,’ she recounted. ‘So that’s my wish for him every night…’

Bullying, while not a new phenomenon, has attracted national media attention after several high profile stories in recent months.

But positive stories of kids supporting each other are starting to become more frequent.

Last month, a large group of supporters in Oregon rallied around a bullied high school student after the boy’s aunt posted a message on Facebook.  In the end, the alleged bully apologized and the two boys even high-fived one another.

And in September, a child’s letter to Santa asking for him to help put an end to the bullying his twin sister was enduring went viral online.  “I prayed that they will stop but god is bisy and needs your help,” the boy wrote in the letter. “Is it against the rules to give gift early?”

h/t MyFOXBoston and Daily Mail

(Featured image credit: MyFOXBoston video)