The 10-year-old boy went viral for his courage after being bullied on a school bus over his Tony Stark costume for Halloween.
Jill Struckman, of Missouri, told Fox News it was her last week son Evan decided to dress like Tony Stark for his school Halloween fun, especially because Tony Stark is a superhero who dresses “weirdly”.
“He’s a kid who’s always put himself out,” Struckman told Fox.
She explained that Evan was wearing a business suit or tuxedo school every day of painting.
“Every year, I worry all day that they’re going to pick it up,” Struckman said. “And he usually doesn’t care. He has a look and whatever, but mostly it’s positive. It’s never a problem.”
That is, until last week.
Although Evan was “so excited” about the Halloween party, Struckman got a call from school almost as soon as he arrived.
“They told me they had him there and that he was really very upset,” Struckman said.
Apparently the kids on the bus were bullying Evan because of his costume.
“He said they told him,‘ You look stupid ’and that‘ everyone will think you look stupid ’and that everyone will make fun of him,” Struckman told Fox.
As soon as Evan got to school, he washed off all of Tony Stark’s makeup and went to the office asking his mom to pick him up from school, which Struckman did, she said.
“He apologized for washing his goatee because we put a lot of effort into it,” Struckman said.
In a Facebook post, Struckman said she took him to Starbucks where they talked about what happened.
As they talked, Struckman told Fox that she was circling all the time about how good Evan’s costume looked.
I said, ‘Well, you thought you looked stupid?’ And he said, ‘No, I think it looked great,’ ”Struckman recalled of their conversation.
She continued, “I said, ‘Well, you really looked great. You looked great, you know you looked great. So you just let a few people say the words, you let that define you?’
Their conversation continued and eventually Struckman said she asked him if he wanted to go back to the Halloween party, and Evan said he did.
“So we went home and put on our make-up in five minutes, just really fast, and we were back in school, I mean, we were back in school in an hour,” Struckman said.
Although he was “a little scared,” Evan ended up having a “good day,” Struckman said.
“He said everyone said his costume looked great,” she added.
“It was exceptional,” Struckman said. “I really think it’s gone viral because so many people on some level can relate to it.”
Struckman said the whole event shows how resilient Evan is and always has been.
“It would be easier to get home,” Struckman said. “But I really felt like if he didn’t go back there, then there would be no more kids giving out. It would change him. He wouldn’t wear a tuxedo or a business suit. It would change him, because in that moment he leaves, to be defined by what others think of him. “
“He’s just brave,” Struckman added. “I’m proud of him for coming back.”