Kid Gets Bullied for His Tony Stark Costume But Still Goes to School Halloween Party

The internet rallied around one little boy after he got picked on for his (totally awesome) Halloween costume. And then, he rallied, too.

Close up of blue plate with nice bright Halloween cupcakes standing on the table. Kids in costumes at Halloween party in the background
Photo: Getty Images

'Tis the season to be who you are not. It's not that you aren't fabulous just the way you are. It's just that it's October and a time to step out in costume to celebrate Halloween. Though the big day isn't technically until October 31, one kid decided to get the celebrations started a little earlier this year.

The problem? Some of his classmates skipped costumes but decided to go as bullies for Halloween. The boy's mom detailed his experience in a series of now-viral Facebook posts, and the internet proved there's still good in this world.

It all started on Friday, October 22, when a child named Evan dressed up as Tony Stark of Iron Man fame. With his oversized glasses, suit, and slick side-parted hair, Evan totally looks the part.

"I hope his school is ready for this guy," the mom, Jill Stahl Struckman, wrote. "He only answers to 'Tony' or 'Mr. Stark.' He wanted [me] to drive him to school but only in the Mercedes. Since I couldn't drive him this very minute, Tony had to be a bus rider."

Not getting to ride in a Mercedes may have been a bummer, but it shouldn't have led to what came next. Less than an hour after the first set of photos went up, Struckman posted an update. And let's just say it wasn't a treat.

"Got a call from Evan at school 20 minutes after he left on the bus," Struckman told everyone. "Apparently, some kids on the bus (who weren't even wearing costumes) told him he looked stupid. Evan got to school and immediately went to the bathroom and washed his face. When he called, he was crying and so hurt that he didn't even want to stay for his party."

Mom shared a photo of her little Tony Stark with sad, swollen eyes and a tear-stained face. The two went off to find ice cream, but first, she had a message for everyone.

"Kids need to understand that words hurt," Struckman said.

The post has more than 230K reactions and 1.2K comments, many of them supporting Mom and Evan—er, Tony.

"This breaks my heart. He's adorable," said one commenter.

"I guess we're all crying today," replied another.

Others offered words of encouragement.

"What a lucky Mom you are—riding with Tony Stark. Evan, don't let those self-conscious bullies get into your head," someone said.

And one offered a possible glimpse into Evan's future.

"Twenty years later, he becomes a CEO of a major company, and the kid who picked on him are waiting for an interview to walk through the doors…you see how karma works?" another pointed out.

Soon after the post went viral, Mom had some happier news for everyone. Evan rallied.

"If you've seen my posts this morning, you know what a roller coaster it has been," Struckman posted. "After going to Starbucks and talking through his feelings, Evan decided he didn't want to miss his school party. So, we went home, redid his awesome makeup, and [marched] right back into school. He ended up getting that ride he wanted, after all. He also learned some valuable lessons today. Thanks for all the sweet words."

If your child is being bullied, experts advise you to:

  • Communicate openly. Ask your child about how things are going, and listen calmly to what they have to say. Be their safe space.
  • Build confidence. Help your child find hobbies and activities that build their self-esteem and teach them about positive, confident body language.
  • Help them figure out how to respond. Role-playing bullying situations and creating a list of go-to responses can help a child manage the situation with confidence.
Was this page helpful?
Related Articles