Dad Forces Son to Hold 'I'm a Bully' Sign in Public -- Anyone Seeing the Irony? (VIDEO)

Rant 84

Publicly punishing your kid by making him or her hold a sign seems to be all the rage now. Like the teen who had to hold a sign saying "I'm a self-entitled teenager" and the parents who made their kid hold a sign saying he stole headphones. In fact, so many parents do it that there are lists dedicated to it.

I'm always on the fence about these things. On the one hand, yeah, parents should discipline and punish when needed. On the other, do kids really need public humiliation piled on top of private punishment? (Especially when everything goes viral nowadays!!) Now comes this sign that a dad in Texas made his fourth grader hold at a busy intersection that read, "I'm a bully. Honk if you hate bullies."

The dad, Jose Lagares, says that his son had been in trouble numerous times in school for bullying behavior. In the past, this type of thing was ignored, and it's great that bullying is finally getting the attention it deserves as something that needs to be eradicated from schools. Children who are bullied can suffer lifelong issues -- not to mention even end up committing suicide.

So, it's good that this father is taking his son's bullying seriously. He's not shrugging it off -- and he's not encouraging it. He told KCEN:

Bullying is also a form of public humiliation. Maybe he understands that when he humiliates someone publicly that doesn't feel good. Hopefully he'll take that with him so the next time he tries to bully someone he'll think about it twice.

But isn't making a kid hold a sign like this a form of bullying too?

I think back to my own mistakes as a kid -- like the time I stole a cassette tape from a store -- and the absolute humiliation of the cops calling my grandmother (whom I lived with) and my grandmother's copious tears of embarrassment and how, frankly, the LAST thing I needed was more humiliation!

I think if I was made to hold a sign that day and stand in front of my town, my friends, the parents of my friends, for something I did in a moment of pre-teen idiocy (hey, your brain is NOT fully formed yet), I would, even today, be angry about my treatment -- rather than embarrassed at what I did. In fact, the disappointment my grandmother had in me was more than enough to make me never steal anything again.

But Lagares, who got a lot of criticism for his actions, says he had tried every form of punishment he could think of, including grounding, and the problem wasn't stopping.

However, it makes you wonder if this kid is a bully because dad is? I don't want to play blame the parent, but if this is dad's first reaction to disciplining his son -- to publicly humiliate him -- then you start to get a sense of where he may have learned this type of behavior. The fact that this kid will have this video online forever is really unfair too.

Lagares, however, says that the over-the-top punishment "seems to have worked."

Do you think this was right?


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nonmember avatar Kristi

Good grief. The dad isn't "bullying" his son he is ......gasp...PARENTING.

abra819 abra819

good for this dad, actually taking action. is it the best way to handle the situation? idk. i'm just grateful for a parent actually taking action.

Katha... Katharine205

Yes I think this was right and I'll bet the kid learned a valuable lesson.  I think there's too many parents these days that are afraid to really discipline their kids - kudos to this dad who saw a problem with his son and stood up and did something about it.  He said he had tried multiple things and nothing else worked - it seems this was a last resort and not an automatic go to.

Brain... BrainyMommy

This kid sounds like he's been headed down the wrong path for quite some time so yes this punishment was acceptable. Bullying kills. Frankly, the kid is lucky that the parent of a child he bullied didn't seek out the help of the criminal justice system because then he'd have a criminal record.

nonmember avatar Matt

Public shaming is a great deterrent. I think we should bring public executions back. I think it would lower crime.

sweet... sweetcherry_59

I wish more parents cared enough about their children's behavior like this dad. 

EmilyH87 EmilyH87

What his dad is doing is discipline. Now if he beat the crap out of the kid and then told him beating up others kids is wrong, THAT might be bullying. This kid should be embarrased if he treats others badly.

Ashle... AshleyB1984

I think this is a good idea. If the father has already tried all other means, this is a good step. It sounds like you think he should just turn a blind eye and hope his son learns on his own.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

Pretty soon every form of punishment is going to be called bullying which is absolutely ridiculous. Punishment is supposed to make you learn something about your behavior that will stop that behavior in the future. I think this a great way to teach someone how that feels. And the dad is spot on about bullying. It's humiliating and the kid should know how that feels.

Todd Vrancic

Your own article states this was the dad's discipline of LAST resort.  Not bullying in my opinion, trying to teach empathy.  Especially if he talked to the kid after the punishment was over.

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