Most parents would go to the ends of the earth to protect their kids from bullies. I know I would. But how far is too far? Is it ever appropriate to confront your child’s attackers?
That’s what James Jones reportedly did. His 12-year-old daughter, Chatari, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was allegedly being taunted by other kids at her Florida middle school. According to Chatari, she had been pinched, hit and had condoms thrown at her. Fed up and enraged, James boarded her school bus to give the kids a piece of his mind. Now I can’t repeat everything he said, but a YouTube video shows the father cursing and threatening to kill anyone bullying his child.
James will be on Monday’s show to tell his side of the story, along with CNN contributor Roland Martin, who says James should be named Father of the Year. I wouldn’t go as far as rewarding his actions — storming a school bus, throwing F-bombs at children and threatening to give them a whupping. He definitely crossed the line, but I can understand a father’s frustration when he feels that his precious child is standing in the line of fire, and no one is doing anything to help. James, who was arrested after the incident, apologized for his actions, admitting that he acted like the very thing he was trying to protect his child from. He faces two misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing a school function. I told James that if my kid had been on the bus tormenting his child, I would testify for him at his trial.
I’m not a Johnny-Come-Lately to anti-bullying. Bullies are nothing but cowards, and I believe we should have zero-tolerance when dealing with them. I’ve launched a campaign to raise awareness about this national epidemic, and I’ve testified before Congress earlier this year to ensure cyber safety. When you have a child with special needs, like Chatari, they are ill-equipped to fight back against their attackers. Somebody needs to stand up for them.
It’s tragic that our kids are taking their own lives just to get a bully off their back. What’s a parent to do? Do you sympathize with James Jones? How would you have reacted in the same situation? Did this father go too far, and does he deserve jail time? Let me hear from you.