Dad makes 10-year-old daughter walk five miles to school as punishment for bullying
When children get bullied, they suffer mental and physical damage, which can sometimes lead to tragic consequences. But what do you do if you find out your kid's a bully? You've got to do something to punish them for their actions and change their current trajectory. Yet choosing the most effective discipline can be tricky. You don't want to be seen as too strict or too lenient, or make the problem even worse.
In Ohio, Matt Fox discovered his 10-year-old daughter got suspended from the school bus for three days because she bullied another kid. This was the second time she committed this offense, so he decided to send her a message she wouldn't forget. The next morning, she expected him to drive her to school. Instead, he made her trudge five miles to school on a cold, gloomy day.
On Facebook, Cox shared footage of his daughter making the lonely trek, while he follows her in his vehicle. In the video, which is titled "Life lessons!!!!," he explains the rationale for his punishment and notes that some parents might not approve:
"This lovely lady is my ten-year-old daughter who has for the second time this school year been kicked off the school bus, due to bullying another student. Let me make this extremely clear, bullying is unacceptable, especially in my household. Friday, when my daughter brought home her paperwork for her bus suspension, she said ‘Daddy, you’re going to have to take me to school next week’.
"As you see, this morning she is learning otherwise. A lot of children today feel that the things their parents do for them is a right and not a privilege, such as parents taking their children to school in the morning, or even bus rides to school in the morning. All of that is a privilege, and should be treated as such, so today my beautiful daughter is going to walk five miles to school, in 36F weather.
"A lot of you parents aren’t going to agree with this, but that is all right. Because I’m doing what I feel is right to teach my daughter a lesson and stop her from bullying. So children, if you’re watching this, please understand that bullying is unacceptable everywhere and will not be tolerated. Thanks everyone, have a great day."
The footage went viral, provoking a debate about discipline. Some parents thought the punishment was completely justified, and resonate in the girls' mind long afterward. "She has plenty of time to think about what she did on a five mile walk," wrote one Facebook user.
However, other parents disagreed, believing the father went too far. By publicly shaming his daughter in this manner, he could be seen as a bully. And maybe this method of punishment won't change her behavior. "There are reasons children bully and getting to the issue changes a life not just makes a child acceptable," commented one Facebook user. "The root cause of what happened to them is critical. How does this develop communication and a connection? Controlling their behavior needs to be instilled by self motivation. She’s been trained. Not changed."