Pender County boy gets escort after being bullied for dressing like deputy

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Deputies surprised a Pender County boy Monday after he was recently teased for dressing like them.

Sheriff deputies and a Burgaw police officer made a pit stop at Penderlea Elementary with second grader Daniel Thigpen and his mother Lizzie Williamson.

“They did it because they wanted to,” Williamson said. “Seeing his reaction this morning, really put it into perspective.”

She says it was icing on the cake for her 8 year old after kids teased Daniel for wearing a sheriff’s deputy uniform on career day last week.

“He wasn’t his normal self, and I started asking him questions, and he said that while he was at lunch or leaving from lunch that a child was making negative comments to him about wanting to be a deputy,” Williamson said.

Lt. James Cotten was one out of the six officers who saw on social media that Daniel was teased, so they decided to show up and surprise him with an escort to school.

“He was kind of like, ‘What’s going on?’ And as we were talking to him and explained to him what was going on, his demeanor just turned from being a little boy not wanting to go to school to very ecstatic and happy,” Cotten said. “The grin on his face, I swear you could see all his teeth when he grinned.”

Williamson says being a deputy has been Daniel’s dream for a while now. Williamson is a dispatcher for the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, so law enforcement has a lot to do with his aspiration.

“We had several long talks, and after those, he realized he is good enough to be a deputy,” Williamson said. “He can be anything he wants to be, and he still wants to be a deputy. He said it’s not going to change his mind.”

Daniel himself tells WWAY how shocked he was.

Daniel says he hopes this will show other students that they too can be whatever they want, and not allow other people to keep them down.

Categories: Community, Local, Pender