Every time I see a kid being forced to wear a sign in public about how he did something terribly wrong, it makes me feel sad. But the look of utter humiliation and agony on 12-year-old Erol Faustin's face made me feel incredibly sad. It's not that the Florida sixth grader didn't do something wrong -- he did. When he was told to put his backpack away, he cursed at his teacher, calling her a b*tch and said he didn't give a f*ck. Not cool. That's why the school suspended him for three days. Fair enough.
Except the punishment didn't seem fair, or "enough," to Faustin's mom, Lisette Lopez. So she hopped on the public shaming bandwagon and made him dress up in a suit and hold an enormous sign confessing his crime outside the school every morning and afternoon of his suspension. And he did. In silence, with tears rolling down his face for most of the time.
Remember when I said that it makes me sad every time I see a kid wearing an embarrassing sign in public as a punishment? That was true, but watching Faustin's video is even more heartbreaking because it's like watching HIS heart breaking. (At least when you're watching one of these videos and the kid wearing a sign is still acting like a smartass, you know the experience probably won't leave any deep, lasting emotional scars.)
I'm not judging Lopez -- I'm a mom, I know how challenging the discipline thing can be and how frustrating it is to feel like you've tried everything and STILL your kid won't listen to you. But while some kids can cope with this kind of consequence, others can't. And unfortunately, sometimes you find out which kind of kid you have the hard way.
Do you think this boy deserved public humiliation for what he did?
Image via NY Daily News