Aubrey Fontenot's son Jordan was being bullied at school, and he decided to take action. It wasn't the first time Jordan had had a run-in with the same boy, and Fontenot had urged his son to try and befriend the child. It didn't work.
The bullying continued, and Jordan's phone was snatched, so Fontenot decided to step in. He set up a meeting at Jordan's school with the principal and a policeman, and what he learned broke his heart.
The compassionate dad posted his story on Twitter/@illuminaubrey on October 17, 2018, where it went viral.
"I had already been to the school and let them know there was a bullying situation, but then it happened again."
Aubrey Fontenot, Twitter/@illuminaubrey, October 17, 2018.
During his conversation with the principal, Fontenot realized that there was something going on with Jordan's bully. The hint was that the boy was homeless and needed help, so Fontenot decided to meet him.
He got him to open up and discovered that he was constantly teased about not having clean clothes to wear.
The boy was suspended, and Fontenot decided to spend the day with him. He realized that the child and his family were homeless, and his mother was struggling to keep him clean, and appropriately dressed.
"They insinuated he was homeless. I was like 'Oh ok I didn’t realize that, wow that makes a lot of sense."
Fontenot believes that pointing fingers is not a solution, so he decided to take action. He took the boy shopping and bought him some clothes. He spoke to him about morals and principals and having self-respect.
Fontenot got his son Jordan and his "enemy" to sit down together and talk, air their grievances. Then he told them to shake hands, and that from that moment on they were brothers, and had to protect each other.
Fontenot wanted to teach his son a valuable lesson, that “every war isn’t won with your hands".
This father's compassion shows the way to end the scourge of bullying by addressing the pain that leads these children to mistreat others.
Read more on Twitter Amomama USA.
Sadly, bullying is a reality most children have to deal on a daily basis, and this kind of behavior seems to be on the rise, turning a school into a nightmare for many.
What should a parent do if they realize their child is being bullied?
Experts advise that parents should act immediately, contacting the school and making them aware of what is going on so they can take action.
What is bullying?
At what point does friendly teasing become damaging bullying? When teasing becomes hurtful, unkind, and constant, it becomes bullying and must be stopped.
Bullying is defined as intentional torment which can take the form of physical, verbal, or psychological violence. Some bullies isolate their victims and spread hurtful rumors about them, others use social media to humiliate and denigrate them.
Why do children bully?
Some children will pick on someone they perceive a weaker in order to bolster their own self-esteem or gain popularity and status among their peers. Bullies feel empowered.
Some children may torment and hurt others because they consider such behavior normal. This may be the reality within their family, and these children have a warped understanding of what family is, and poor social skills.
Dealing with bullying
The first step should always be informing the principal, school nurse, counselor or teacher at your child's school. They will have mechanisms to handle the situation and prevent further problems.
Be supportive of the child, but discourage them from by fighting or bullying back. The best course of action is to walk away and tell an adult, who has the authority to deal with the problem before it escalates.