This mom shamed her son on Facebook for bullying a girl at school
These days, almost everything gets shared on social media, but one UK mom is facing backlash after she Facebook-shamed her son for bullying a girl in his class.
Terri Day Evans is a 30-year-old mom from Whittington, whose 12-year-old son recently got in trouble at school for purposely walking over a student’s foot and breaking her shoe. Hoping to deter her son from being the newest class bully, Evans took to Facebook to reprimand him in a public post about his disappointing behavior.
“Absolutely disgusted that my 12 year old son saw fit to purposefully tread on a new girls foot at school and twist his foot with such force it broke her brand new shoes (causing the heel) to snap. I’ll tell you something Jacob, if you so much as breath in her or anyone’s direction in a bullying manner I will personally hand you over to their parents for every demeaning chore they see fit for as long as they do… kiss goodbye to your birthday money as you will be buying the girl a new pair of shoes and a bunch of flowers! #iwillnothaveabullyinmyhouse”
Evans “tagged” her son in the post, and then was stunned when it quickly went viral. According to the Metro, the post was shared over 11,000 times and accumulated 54,000 likes. Some applauded Evans’ “fantastic” parenting, but many more questioned her decision to publicly shame her son. One comment captured by the Metro reads, “Why extend the humiliation? Your poor son. This will haunt him forever. A mistake at 12, online now for all to see.”
Evans eventually made the post private, but not before updating it to defend herself against her critics. She wrote that she had a serious talk with her son offline, but also tagged him in a public post so his friends would see that “his actions have consequences, he’s not big, clever, hard, or funny.” She added:
“I don’t much care who doesn’t agree with my parenting style, my son humiliated and embarrassed a girl… for anyone’s knowledge that girl may have left her old school because she was being bullied… then imagine how much worse my son’s ridiculous act would have made her feel. So my so called embarrassing him online is to be quite frankly nothing in comparison to the humiliation that little girl had to face walking round with a broken shoe and red eyes from crying when she is new.”
Evans has since written on Facebook that her son “wasn’t bothered” by the post, but she “woke up to reporters” at the door and feels “regret that it went as viral as it did.” She adds, “When I posted this status it was about letting my son and his friends know his behaviour was unacceptable, not for the whole world and his dog to see it… This was a first time occurrence for him and I’m damn sure it will be the last.”
Obviously it’s a good thing this mom doesn’t want her son to be a bully and is taking decisive action to change his behavior. What’s unfortunate is that she chose to discipline her son in such a public way. Now, her son’s name is inextricably linked with this “first time occurrence,” when there’s no reason he needed to be publicly humiliated in the first place. Kids don’t need to be bullied themselves in order to learn that bullying is wrong. In fact, doing that can actually make things worse.
As the Department of Health and Human Services reports, kids usually bully others as a way of coping with anger and insecurities, either from dealing with peer pressure or issues at home. Shaming kids doesn’t solve the problem — it just gives them more reasons to feel frustrated and disregards whatever caused to them lash out in the first place.
It’s understandable to want to teach a bullying kid a lesson, but we can’t fight fire with fire. If we want our kids to treat others with dignity and respect, we have to start by showing them what that looks like.