Two weeks ago, Logan Fontanelle Middle School teacher Trey Payne’s basketball sneakers were stolen from his classroom. And while that totally sucks, what happens next does not. His students got together, pitched in some money, and replaced the stolen shoes. And in a now-viral video, they captured their beloved teacher’s emotional reaction to their generous gift.
“My favorite teacher Mr. Payne got his shoes stolen, so me and a few classmates put together our money and bought him a brand new pair,” wrote student Emma Mitchell on Twitter.
In the video, a student tells Payne to open the card before the gift bag.
“You’re all making me nervous,” Payne says.
He reads the card, shakes his head in disbelief, and then pulls a shoebox out of the gift bag.
“Are you serious,” he asks. His students all reply “yes.” As Payne opens the box and sees the replacement sneakers, he is overcome with emotion. He removes his glasses and covers his eyes, shaking his head. Then, the students all come in for a hug.
Bellevue Public Schools shared the story on their Facebook page, explaining how the event occurred during Kindness Week.
“It’s more than a pair of shoes, it’s about doing things to build everyone up around you,” Payne said. “I try to show my kids this and I think the lesson has sunk in for many, in turn, reaffirming my purpose and my ideals.”