According to DoSomething.Org, there are over 3.2 millions of students who experience bullying each year. Out of this million of students, hundred thousands choose to skip school to avoid their bullies. With this astounding number, bullying sure is a serious problem that needs to be resolved. However, according to a survey, only a few adults and school authorities actively respond to incident reports of bullying. Thus, not all people are keen on reporting the physical and verbal abuse they experience from their schoolmates.
But one father from Swanton, Ohio is taking the internet by storm after he shared a video of his daughter serving her punishment for bullying a classmate. Last Monday, Matt Cox’s daughter, Kirsten, had to walk to Evergreen Elementary School in Metamora after she had been suspended off the school bus for the second time for being a bully. While walking, Matt was driving slowly behind his daughter as he took a video of Kirsten serving her ‘punishment.’
In the video, Kirsten can be seen walking ahead of Matt, who was giving a brief explanation about the situation unfolding in the footage.
“This lovely lady is my 10-year-old daughter who has, for the second time this school year, been kicked off the school bus due to bullying another student.” Matt explained.
“Let me make this extremely clear, bullying is unacceptable, especially in my household.” Matt said, clearly expressing where he stand in the issue of bullying.
“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’” Matt is more than willing to take Kirsten to school, however, after finding out the reason why, Matt found himself having to teach his beloved daughter a lesson about bullying the hard way.
Instead of simply driving Kirsten to school, Matt instructed her to walk five miles in a freezing weather while he drove behind her. Although Matt wanted to teach Kirsten a valuable lesson, he still didn’t want to risk the safety of his daughter.
“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 (2C) weather.” Matt explained in the video.
The video posted on Matt’s Facebook account has become viral. In fact, it has already earned over 21 million of views and half a million of shares. A lot of people have watched Kirsten’s video of herself walking in such cold weather, which earned both criticisms and praises from the parents across the state.
“A lot of you parents aren’t going to agree with this, but that is alright. 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.”
True enough with Matt’s anticipation, a lot of parents who have seen the video voiced out their concerns over Matt’s way of handling the situation. Some parents believe that his punishment to Kirsten was too much, making him a bully himself.
“There are reasons children bully and getting to the issue changes a life not just makes a child acceptable. 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.” A Facebook user, who disagrees with Matt’s decision, voiced out his opinion about Matt’s parenting ways.
“There are 1000 better ways to handle this situation that don’t involve forcing a child to walk 5 miles in freezing temperatures,” A Twitter user criticized the video Matt posted on his account.
“That’s awful. Bullies are angry. Making them march in cold temps while humiliating them on camera and social media just fans the flames.” Another Twitter user also thinks Matt’s punishment to Kirstin was too much.
But while some parents criticized and voiced out their concerns over Matt’s parenting ways, some praised him for teaching his daughter a valuable lesson in life.
“It’ll build her character up to be a better person later on down the line good job dad!” A Facebook user said, supporting Matt’s decision.
“I’d prefer to do this than another child take their own life due to children not being held accountable for there actions. Also she walked to school- it isn’t the end of the world. What do you think people did when there were no cars and buses? He made sure she was safe” Another Facebook user, who agrees with Matt’s ways, defended his actions.
“You are teaching to be accountable for her actions… You followed her to ensure her safety but taught her a lesson at the same time! Good job!” Another fellow parent and Facebook user commended Matt’s way of reprimanding his daughter.
“People complain if you parent, and they complain if you don’t.” Another Facebook user, who have watched the video of Kirstin posted on Matt’s account, shared his observation.
In a separate interview, Matt explained that despite criticisms he still stand by his decision to let Kirstin walk five miles to school over a three-day period after bullying her classmate.
“I absolutely do not feel I went overboard at all,” Matt explained. “I decided to put the video on my social media … to show my immediate friends and family that just because we love our children and would do anything for them does not mean we have to turn a blind eye to their actions.”
At the end of the day, Matt is at peace knowing that he was able to accomplish the objective of Kirstin’s punishment- that nothing good comes out from bullying!
“At first she was upset that I told her she had to walk, but after the first day she realized it was her fault and her actions that got her into trouble, so she was okay with it after that and understood,” Matt shared in an interview.
Whether you agree or not with Matt’s parenting style, one thing is certain. His disciplinary approach is something that you should definitely see. Watch the video below and see how Matt, a concerned father who does not tolerate bullying, reprimanded his daughter to think about the consequences of her actions.
Photos and Video | Matt Cox