Bullying in school is not uncommon, and recently a boy in Texas was taught a lesson in an unusual way. A Splendora mother forced her 11-year-old son to wear a T-shirt saying ‘I am a bully’ to school after teachers complained that he called classmates ‘stupid, idiots’.
“I’m a very old-school parent,” said Star, who wanted to be referred to by her first name. “I don’t coddle my children. I don’t sugar coat the world to them,” she was quoted by ABC 13.
“I wanted to do something that would teach him why he can’t do those things, why he needs to take other people in consideration,” the mother of the Greenleaf Elementary fifth-grader told KTRK.
She later shared the photos on Facebook and it quickly left netizens divided. “I posted it to reach out to the parents of any of the kids my son may have bullied so that each one of them could get a personal apology,” she clarified.
While many slammed her online as ‘cruel’ and ‘heartless’, others supported her saying sometimes as parents it’s required to be tough. However, a child psychiatrist felt it would do more harm than good. “(It’s) not a good idea to embarrass your child and solidify a negative identity in an elementary school child,” Richard Pesikoff, a child psychiatrist at Baylor College of Medicine said KTRK.
She also added that she spoke with her son’s counsellor and teachers before he went to the classroom, and she said they supported her decision. The Splendora Independent School District in a statement said, “Parents have the rights to make important decisions and take certain actions on behalf of their child,” adding that they met the mother and teachers before the student spent his day wearing the outfit.
“Ensuring a safe, physical, emotional, and social environment is one of Splendora ISD’s Core Principles. With that in mind, our counsellor checked on the child throughout the day on Friday and plans to follow up with the student and the parent early this week,” they added.