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October 29th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Enraged Dad Sends Message about Bullying

dad9051Most 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.

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531 Responses to “Enraged Dad Sends Message about Bullying”

  1. Helen Jordan says:

    I believe the parents should be held accountable for their children. The parents of the bullies should be made to ride the bus with their children for a period of 30 days and maybe some changes will be resulting from that. Parents should take an interest in the children and the school and have kindness and consideration for others.

  2. Sondra Shelton says:

    Hi Dr Phil,
    I have a 14 and an 12 year boy. I think this man did it “RIGHT”. The kids nowadays are out of control, my 14 year old was bullied all through elementary by five boys. With meeting after meeting, the situation excelled, to where I went to the boys parents house. Thinking the parents would do something about their kids behavior. Wow! that went nowhere. Watching my son come home day after day
    crying and not wanting to go back to school, was killing me. You name it they did it. On the last day of his elementary years, I was called to the school to pick up my son, who was suspended for grabbing one of the kids and putting him into a headlock. After picking up my son, on the way home I got a call from the school,
    they wanted to appoligize for what happened. They went on to say one of the
    five boys had a change in his story after watching my son and I leave the school
    he addmitted to the Principle that he and the boys did everything my son
    said they did for the last 4 years and they did attack him on the playground during P. E. class, which is why my son finally grabbed one of them. They went on to say they were sorry, but my son will still be suspended for taking this into his
    own hands (headlock situation). The truth would have never came out, if my son
    would’nt have done what he did. After all I went through with Hidden Valley Elementary School and them having me have my son put on prescribed drugs saying he had ADHD, which I did as they suggested for about one week. After all
    the mean cruel things these boys did to my son, and he was accused so many times for things he never did. What my son went through was hell. To all the parents out there, Yes I say, take it into your own hands the other parents won’t and the schools surely don’t give damn. This man was right for scaring the —- out of these kids. If they were not the ones bulling her they should’nt and felt scared. They should have understood why he was there on the bus in the first place. I take no —- off any kids. Parents look for the signs from your kids if they are being bullied they will not want to go to school and feel very depressed, aong other things. Parents need to respond for the sake of their kids!
    Sincerely Sondra Shelton
    P.S. I must say, reaching 5′9″ when my son
    entered 7th grade in Jr. High,
    he was never bothered again, ever!
    Not even now at 6′1/2″ in 9th grade
    and still growing. They won’t even
    mess with is younger brother who
    has’nt grown yet.
    have th
    my son

  3. Shayla says:

    Good job dad for standing up and showing kids some sort of discipline, since clearly they receive none. To be in the state of mind to do that to another human being is repulsive. The parents these days are punk ass parents. No one wants discipline or correct their children. We live in a society where everything is someone else’s fault and no one will take responsibility. These kids and parents all need to be under the microscope to which this dad had to endure, to shine the light on what they’ve created. I think it took a lot of guts to do what he did, and I would do that for my child in a heart beat. ZERO TOLERANCE FOR BULLIES unite!

  4. Bigger Bully says:

    The only thing a bully understands is a bigger bully…That being said I applaud the father for standing up to his daughters bullies. My daughter was 14 when an 18 year old senior started stalking, harrassing and bullying my daughter. I witnessed at a school function the extent this women ( I say that because she was 18 a the time) would persue my daughter. Well I confronted the woman in the hall during the school funtion and told her that I would make her life hell if she didn’t leave my daughter alone. Like Mr Jones, I went a little crazy with the woman, but I didn’t threaten to kill her. I did scare her, so that she reported ME to the principal for bullying her. Once I told the school officer my side of the story, and that I would continue to confront this woman if she didn’t leave my daughter alone…the school took action to PROTECT the bully from me. We can not expect the school to catch every incident and take care of every issue when there are millions of issues going on at the schools every day…so I say us parents need to take care of our kids, and if need be go to the police, press charges, confront bullies, confront bullies parent…what ever it takes.

  5. jane says:

    I AM mother of a child who is a very low vision adult now and was bullied all through school and even when she started collage despite me fighting for her the higher ups in the school and in the collage did nothing they made it easy for the bullies to operate i think school teachers principles should go to jail when they stand by and watch this happen along with the bullies our children are being hurt and we need to stop this as a group

  6. Sondra Shelton says:

    Please forgive my spelling above. And yes parents should be held responsible. God Bless James Jones. Sondra Shelton

  7. kim says:

    i agree with this parent first of all i was bullied in school and wished my mother would have the guts to do this,to step up when i was ran home and beat up and jumped by all the girls in one class .yes HE WAS RIGHT ,because these parents know there kids are like this.

  8. sarah117 says:

    I had recorded this show and just watched it.
    I think more parents need to stand up for their children against bullies. School do little to nothing. Parents of bullies either don’t care, or think ” not my child.” Even bus drivers turn a blind eye. Bullies feel safe because no one calls then out on their actions.
    As long as a parent does not physically touch a child, I think its fine to put the fear of God into them. This goes for any parent protecting their child, especially if the child has special needs. This was not just name calling, she was being taunted and bullied physically. I think the father showed great restraint in my opinion. Now he has to face court charges? Bring the parents of these bullies before a judge, have then fined, I bet some of this bullying would stop if it cost parents money.
    Where does this end? Does a child have to be bullied to the point of suicide? Is this the only way Schools and authorities will take notice?
    Parents, if you can not get help from the schools, police, or the parents of these bullies, then stand up for your kids, even if it means the bully wets his pants. You may be saving your child’s life!

  9. Peggy says:

    I would like to have the honor of shaking hands with this Dad for whom stood up in self defense of his child. While he was strong, I understand why. When I needed someone in school it was finally a principal that helped me. The parents of these bullys need to show their faces on Dr. Phil and be accountable and implement severe consequences to their bully children. This Dad should not be apologizing, he and his daughter are beyond deserving of apologies from the bully parents and the school system. The dicipline coordinator here in Traverse City, Mi. told me that even in self defense your student still doesn’t have the right to fight back. I ended up pulling my kids off the bus route since that told me they wouldn’t be protected at all. I’ve always told my kids the only time they have permission to fight is in self defense.
    Why is it that the bullies and bully parents are in hiding when it’s all on tape?

    So to this Dad, I applaud you for defending your child and I’d be proud to meet and shake hands. You DO NOT deserve any jail time. You DESERVE to be exonerated of all charges and then you need to charge the bully parents of wreckless endangerment of a minor child to say the least and see what you can do about bringing whatever charges you can to your school system because you know as well as I do if it was their child they wouldn’t stand for “their” child being mistreated.

  10. Nenil-Ha Spíndola says:

    I had a problem like that with my kid. The last thing they did to him was that they used tape around his head with his hands on his ears. Some teachers knew about this event and I knew that they talked to the Principal, I had a chat with the Principal too. Some of the parents knew about the attitude their kids had with my son. It was not the first time. They didn´t do ANYTHING. In some schools they take it as a normal thing. It was horrible and my kid didn´t want to go to another school. I am divorced and we are alone. My only wish was to do something similar to Mr. Jones reaction. My son has AD and he is shy. Fortunately now he is in another school and we are working with his self-esteem. He has got good grades and he has overcome the stigma. Now he has another opportunity, another possible future, but what about the one that continue suffering the same year after year? He could become an aggressive one or a sociopath???
    Parents and schools don´t know what to do with the bullies. It´s a matter not only of discipline, it´s a psychological problem too, because it´s a game of power. If my kid results with psychological problems now, and it could be part of his own problem, the ones who enjoy bulling him have problems too.
    You can only feel anger, and I´m sure that the bullies´ parents would feel the same.
    As parents we need to be aware of what is going on with our kids, how they feel, where they are, what they do.
    Violence is not the answer, but something real is that as a matter of power, someone needs to show more power to make it stop.

  11. diana Fonseca says:

    God bless James Jones!!!! Maybe if more parents got involved like this man did then we wouldn’t have so much bullying going on..Watching the video brings tears to my eyes and I just love this man who loves and protects his daughter as a father should. If schools, parents and bus drivers are not going to intervene then parents have no choice but to. Although I have no children, if I did and some little punks bullied my child I would have done the same thing as James Jones, no actually I would have been more enraged and probobly wound up in jail on the spot! Kudos and God bless you always, Mr. James..

  12. Denise Carver says:

    I too was bullied when I was young, and I say good for him for standing up for his child. Although I don’t agree with the method that he used, I do understand it because of the heat of the moment, and would probably have reacted the same way, especially after seeing that the administration failed to do their job when notified of the bullying. I prefer to think that I would handle it today, the same way that my father had handled it for me. He notified the parents of both boys who were bullying me and neither boy ever bothered me again. The word I got was that their father’s administered the strap to them both. Don’t forget this was back in the mid 1960’s when this type of behavior was not tolerated.

  13. Glenda S. says:

    I couldn’t hold back the tears when I heard Mr. Jones relive what his daughter had gone through. My heart just broke for him. A parent and a child should NOT have to go through this. The parents are as much as responsible as the kids and should be held accountable. But when you see the parents, you usually know why the kids act the way they do. Nothing is ever done by the school. It’s easier for them to look the other way. I applaud him for taking a stand. Sometimes the only way to get a bully’s attention is to talk to them like one.

  14. Pat says:

    I have watched Dr. Phil every day for many years and THIS WAS THE SHOW THAT HAS MOVED ME to figure out how to respond on twitter or facebook. I am an educator in the Chicago Public Schools and a mother of a disabled child. Never in all his shows have I been so outraged. I have one and only one question WHERE WAS THE SCHOOL?? How could the bus driver sit in his seat and listen to, and know what was happening on his bus to that little girl? This dad’s tears as well as those of his little girl were heart wrenching. It will be the end of all justice for me if this father is punished. Shame on us then! I am sorry for the students on the bus that were not involved but those awful bullies must be stopped, and maybe seeing this day someday one of the other children will take a stand against the BULLY!! God bless Mr. Jones and his beautiful daughter.

  15. Jana says:

    Why is it a crime when parents confront bullies, but it’s okay for people to ignore this behavior.

    We have reversed the way we behave socially. It seemed to happen when we allowed mainstreaming and took out corporal punishment in schools and in public places.

    I saw an old episode of “Good Times” and a fifteen year old got paddled for not wanting to do homework. The “Big Mac” it was called, because he couldn’t sit down after the paddling. If you, as a parent do this today, you’d be in jail.Something is wrong with that.

  16. Annie Mc Carter says:

    I am proud of what he did! I know a lot of the kids that were not involved were frightened by what they saw and heard, but I bet if they had the slightiest inkling to become bullies too, that may have stopped them. You do wonder about the parents of the bullies. Maybe they don’t love themselves enough and can’t give their kids the right kind of attention, so the kids take it out on others. I was one of the kids that got picked on constantly too. My problem was that I was small for my age, and smart. The teachers liked me, and I actually went to school to learn. Back then, there were no computers, so no cyber bullying could occur. Nope, the bullies had to do their harrassment face to face. You couldn’t be a coward and a bully at the same time as you can now. I just hope they make bullying a crime. Maybe then, things like this, and suicide of our young people that are being bullied would stop.

  17. Brandy Frederick says:

    Good for James. I am terrified of my daughter being bullied. Any GOOD parent does everything they can to protect their child. You expect that your child will feel safe and protected on the bus and at school. Look at these heartbreaking cases of CHILDREN killing themselves because of just this. I would have-and WILL DO- the same thing if it were my daughter and to put him in jail would be a huge leap back in the fight against bullying.

  18. Crystal says:

    I hope the dad reads these comments to see the support he has. His story brought me to tears and cannot imagine if that was done to my child. Thinking about it I am not sure what would be worse … having someone do that to my child or know that MY child was doing that to another human being. Parents need to start being parents and take control of their children. I think it is great what he did and the child being the bully can be scared for a change … for the other innocent children .. maybe they will think next time and help put a stop the a bully when they see it. Great job!

  19. Elaine says:

    Do I think the Father went too far with the language and threats? Yes.

    Do I understand why he did what he did? Yes! Yes!

    I’m glad he confronted them. I saw a Dad do that (minus the cursing and threats to the rest of the kids) when I was a student and his daughter rode the bus and was being bullied. He confronted the bully and it never happened again.

    My daughter was bullied throughout her childhood. Going to the school didn’t help much. I went to the parents. That ended up being a joke and certainly made me understand why their children were such nasty little creatures. They were completely clueless idiots! Does anyone notice that it’s always the victims and their families that are on the shows? Never the bullies and their families??

    One neighborhood bully wouldn’t leave my daughter alone and my husband confronted him because the Mom was just another clueless airhead that I tried to talk with to get him to stop. Yeah, that worked out real well! So, husband tells the kid he’s going to bust him upside the head if he bothers our daughter again. The kid says he’ll “sue”, and my husband says, “Yeah, go ahead, if you can get up!

    Never happened again.

    So, I say, Dr. Phil, how about some the of bullies and their families on the show??

  20. Sarah432 says:

    I am so proud that there are still people that are willing to take a stand. I have just watched the episode because I had to record it. My only question is there was obviously a camera in the bus to capture this father (who had every right to stand up for his daughter) and his actions, so where were the cameras when this group of bullies was misbehaving on the bus.

  21. Judth Dudley says:

    My son has been bullied and I wish I had the GUTS to do what this Dad did. Schools do NOT listen. You complain and they say they never got your complaint. Kids are telling teachers and nothing is happening. KIDS ARE DYING. Someone has to stand up to these kids. I support this Dad! If my kid was the bully, then let him get yelled at and put in his place! Kids are out of control and no one wants to step up and step in to take control. I wish I had a Dad that loved me this much growing up.

    Schools- You’ve been served notice. MORE parents will do this if you don’t step in and control what happens on your busses and in your schools.

  22. Linda says:

    I don’t agree with the father’s language on the bus but DO understand his frustration. My grandson, 11, is being bullied at school and other places by the same child. His parents have been to the school principal and everyone they can think of with no changes. They are fed up and so are we. Our grandson has been raised to work things out and not to get into fights. Our advise lately has been to fight back. He doesn’t want to be suspended from school, is on the A Honor Roll and very athletic. He could whip this bully if he was that kind of child. As grandparents we are imagining meeting this bully in a dark alley and beating him up ourselves! Something we would, of course, never do but it helps to imagine it.

  23. Lisa says:

    I wish more parents were as involved in their children’s lives as this father! What is wrong with our schools and our parenting when kids can bully other children with impunity? Why are acts of bullying not considered punishable by law, but a parent yelling at kids is an offense?

    I live in a town where 5 years ago two bullies, aged 14 and 18, bullied a 16 year old girl literally to death. Everyone at school knew the girl was being bullied, the neighbors knew, the parents of all three knew, but nobody could really do anything. The girl’s father finally called the police, because the boys had damaged one of their cars. This was the ONLY damage that was punishable by a legal slap on the wrist. Sadly, these bullies did not stop there. They ended up pretending to be repentant, lured the girl to their house to watch TV, brutally murdered her, dismembered her and were caught only by dumb luck. Everyone who knew her said she was a shy and sweet girl. I can’t stop wondering if someone had acted like the dad on your show, if things might have turned out differently.

    I don’t know what the full solution is, but I am starting to think that the lack of respect for the feelings and lives of others, that so many of our children display today might be the result of the thirst our society has for violence–i.e. graphic violence on TV, graphic violence in video games, and the glamorization of violence in our media. I also think good ethical standards must start at home, but it should also be supported at school and in our society. If we feed our children violence, why are we surprised when they are cruel and violent with others?

  24. Personal says:

    I love Dr. Phil to death! I record his show every night and sit back on my couch and watch it commercial-free. He states the facts, along with opions. I can personally relate this this story. Currently, I am being bullied. Its hard, you really can’t sugarcoat it. Its gotten so bad, I have to switch schools. I would hate for anyone to go through what I went through. I wouldnt wish it on my worst enemies. In middle school, I have found the teachers only make the sisuation worse, because the bullies revolt angrier then ever. The laungage this father used, is yes of course not the best. But, imagine being in his shoes. Your here to protect your baby girl or boy and these bullies seem to get in the way. He did what he thought was right in the spure of the moment. I hope the sisuation with his daughter and family becomes better. I will be praying for the family ever night, best wishes…love you Dr. Phil :)

  25. Tiffany says:

    This story brought tears to my eyes. It is very obvious that this father is a great dad who wants nothing but to protect his daughter! I am so outraged with parents these days that seem to have zero accountability for the actions of their children. If you have a child then raising that child with morals and ethics comes with the job of being a parent! My sister had muscular dystrophy and passed away from this disease. We were a year apart and I remember standing up for her against other kids who bullied her. I am proud to say that my daughter who is in leadership and is class representative, got together with her classmates to vote for two special needs individuals for homecoming princess and prince. We are so proud of her and her friends for standing up and making a difference. Just think how much better the bullies would feel about themselves if they used their time giving back! How would the parents of the bullies feel if they started paying attention to their kids and could say how proud they are of them for their good deeds! My hat’s off to this father, and this beautiful daughter of his, for taking a stand. Yes, where are the parent’s are of those kids on the bus? I just wanted to reach through the television and give both the father and daughter a long hug!

  26. Holly Perkins says:

    I love this guy. My heart is with him and daughter and family. I could care less about kids who bully, bus drivers who are too lazy or intimidated to put a stop to it, schools who wont address the problem, and parents who don’t think their childs actions are a problem.
    That child is lucky to have a father like him. I’m so proud of him! He did not go too far at ALL!!!

  27. Elaine says:

    I applaud this man our daughter was in 9th grade when she started being bullied all because she didn’t want to be apart of the crowd there was about 9 girls involved. In elementary school most of them hung out together along with my daughter. They would call her names threatened to gang up on her everyday. Because I knew the girls I called the parents which led to nothing 1 of them was our neighbour and at home she would talk to my daughter in passing but it was when they got together in there pack at school the same 9 girls everyday. I called the school talk to the vice principal and the principal nothing was done about it. She got to the point where she said mom I’m not afraid of any of them but I am when they are together. She ran home for lunch 1 day, she was scared she said there chasing me. I went out and you could see them turn around and take off. I called the school again to let them know what just happened. He said she didn’t get hurt there’s nothing we can do. I was upset and pregnant my husband was working out of town and told me your gonna have to handle it I talked to that princiapl just yesterday he assured that he talk to the parents the day before and they talked to there daughters. I told her go to school if they try anything you call me. At lunch the next day she called I told her wherever you are stay put she had went to the office they told her she couldn’t stay in the office. I have 6 sisters I called each of them up and told them what was going on and we got together in my sisters van and went to the school. I’ll never forget just as we were walking in the door some kid I didn’t even know says to me to Mrs. Elaine your daughter doesn’t do anything to the girls shes a good kid. My daughter is pretty and she was also popular because of sports. In the front lobby of the school 2 of the girls had jumped her the others were standing around laughing and cheering. One of my sisters grab 1 of the girls off of her and held her each of us was holding somebody. My sister said now you girls want a fight and she said to my daughter are you ready, (I’m thinking what is she doing) my daughter said yes. She looked at each girl and said if you want a fight its going to be 1 on 1. When my daughter hit the girl that was just puching and kicking her along with another girl. The girl fell to the ground they all started saying no, no we don’t want to fight. The leader of the pack started apologizing. Then the principal came out and told them you will all be suspended for 3 days and I will call your parents get in my office. My oldest sister just looked at him and said, now you want to do something. His reply was I didn’t know it got this far. I took my daughter and we just walked out of the school and went home. I was so appauled that it took this extreme but it was the only thing I could think of at the time because she was backed in the corner told to leave the office and they waited for her right outside the office. Kids were cheering and clapping as we left and said its about time somebody did something. Later we found out 2 other girls had quit school because they too were being bullied by the same girls, they returned the second semester. My daughter never had a problem again.

  28. Johanna Cunningham says:

    While the approach was harsh, I understand and empathize with this father. I have just started this journey through the world of bullies with my 10 year old son who is in fifth grade. He is being called names, was punched in the face by a classmate of his (but because he was ‘new’ to the school ’so is my son’, he ony got lunch detention, which he did not even show up for), and just recently was surrounded by a group of boys who began yelling at him, pushing him and when he tried to leave the circle they would not let him out. When I asked him how he got away, he said that the bell rang. I asked him if there were any yard duty teachers around and he said no.

    Once this incident happened I removed him from school for a week and let him do his work at home. Since returning to school I asked the school resource teacher what was done and she told me that they wont’ let them play this certain game anymore. However, they were not playing the game when my son was surrounded so I don’t know what they are thinking.

    The school is, at best, slow to ‘do’ anything. When they do react they do not do much to the bully and they show the child being bullied that what is happening to them does not matter much.

    Professionally, I am the CEO for a non-profit that educates teens on the consequences of risk. What I know though is that these teens begin this behavior early in their lives. Bullies did not just ‘happen’, they saw it demonstrated somewhere, or they are bullied at home, or by someone else. It is hard to watch it happen to your own child and know that more can and should be done.

    This is why I am in the process of writing a program that will certify schools as ANTI-bully schools. It will be a method in which schools will be trained to communicate, enforce and involve parents, students, teachers, administration and the community to keep our kids safe. We, as parents and educators, must get involved and realize that until we get involved it will continue to happen and escalate. It is not the ‘boys will be boys’, or ‘they are just teasing’ scenarios anymore and to ignore this is, in my humble opinion, a form of cruelty. We need to support our kids and provide a new methodology for how recess gets done.

  29. Marot says:

    I think Dr Phil should have James Jones back on the show, and have people call in live so that they could tell him how much of a hero he is.

  30. Jessica says:

    It hurt me to see this episode and a father who would go to the ends of the earth for his daughter. Disability or not I would have done the very same thing. No i wouldnt have used the words he chose but i wsure would be on that bus saying something to those children hurting my child. He does need to file chares of sexual harrasment on the boys that touched her in that manner. I hope they do get in trouble for the things they have done to this little girl. Shame on the parents for allowing their children to do this. The thought of my child doing this to another person, she knows better and if she ever did she would be in for it then. “punk Parents” is right. They need to stand up and take care of their kids actions. God bless that little girl

  31. Kady says:

    You are a hero! I wish I had done the same for my child with CP. The kids teased him and called him Forest Gump when he ran.

  32. Samantha says:

    Many people may think that the father went to far, i do not agree with the language that he used, but he was sticking up for his daughter. There was no reason that those boys should have made fun of her like that just because she has cerebral palsy. I don’t know what its like to be looked at differently but i have an uncle who is and it breaks my heart. That father went through everything just to protect his daughter and i give him props for that.

  33. Robert a Vietnam Veteran says:

    Robert says:
    I am a Vietnam Veteran, I believe in peace and love, but in our society that message has been lost for a long. Because we are in such a mess because we have been rewarding people for bad behavior in our country for to long. That Dad was right on target. What have the school and the parents of those bullies done about this? Probably nothing.

    Lets get back to right and wrong, as well as , teaching our children to be good citizens and good people. Right on Dad! Robert

  34. Angela King says:

    I know what it is like to be bullied,because in high school I was. This girl and her friends would walk behind me on the way home and hit me with a swish, almost every day she would harass me. So when I went home and told my dad,he was outraged and went to the school the next day and swished her back.When I came back from lunch,The kids told me what had happened and I was called to the princepal’s office. The Princepal told me I was suspended until my father came to talk with her, so my father took me from that school, because he knew there wouldn’t be any justice.
    So I can understand ,what that father was going through with his daughter being bullied! I applauded him 95% , because I had a father who stood up for me also.They might not have went about it the right way,but they did what they did on the spur of the moment and it was out of love for their daughters. God bless and keep the Jones strong in their trials and tribulations!

  35. Susan Andrews says:

    I am proud of that father. Too many of us abdicate our responsibilities (for who we are, our decisions, and what we think we believe in) to someone else or a group of people who have set themselves up as some kind of authority, be it school boards, school principals, school bus drivers, and extending all the way up to government ‘officials.’ And there is very little accountability anywhere. There are officious documents with language for accountability and student conduct codes but these documents are used as the start and stop points with no real meat to them. The lack of accountability permeates ALL of society from the parents of both the bully and the victim, the bully AND the victim, and those officious bureaucrats who think they are in control. Everyone likes to think someone else should take care of the problems and issues; the problem is that that sets up position openings of importance that are taken up by apathetic bullies. And WE let them take on the roles.

    Parents are responsible for the physical and emotional welfare of their children. They are responsible for raising good citizens. Children are responsible for managing their growth within the range of progressive milestones and boundaries. This growth includes a clear idea of right and wrong. It also includes learning to stand up for oneself and it includes learning to stand up FOR OTHERS. Bullys and their parents hide in shadows. A bright light should be shined on them and their behavior. They should be named and given a chance to correct their behaviors.

    Lastly, I have a small child with special needs. Don’t think for a moment I won’t equip her with the ability to put a stop to harassment. And don’t think for a moment that I won’t employ a multi-pronged plan to force PERSONAL accountability at the bully, the bully’s parents, school official, and state levels for inappropriate handling of such a situation; especially if I sense apathy.

    Do I think ranting at punks on a school bus was a smart choice? No. I absolutely understand why he did it and desperate people will do desperate things. On a purely emotional level, I am cheering for him.

  36. Ashley Dvais says:

    I agree completly with this father. If we don’t stand up for our kids who will? What I want to know is, What is the schools (any school) definition of bullying? I attended a case conerance for my niece who has FASD, and was told by the school that the look at bullying in a different way then we are. Appently being punched in the stomache, pinched, being excluded from social groups and called names is not bullying in their eyes. So, what is? More parents need to do what this father did, maybe not to the extreme, but it needs to be done. Way to go dad!

  37. Dee McDonald says:

    I was bullied as a child and it was from more then one person.This took place back in the 70’s,it was something you didn’t go to your teachers or your parents with.I was sexually abused as a child also around the same time,I didn’t tell on those people either.At 40 it all came to the top(my cup couldn”t hold no more) and I had no choice but to deal with it.All of it has effected my path through life I think I would have made some different choices in my life.I have three children and I have talked to them and have made them feel that they can come to me about anything.I’m not sure if the bulling is happening more then when i was being bullied or it’s becoming a bigger problem.There are to many kids taking their own lives and parents and schools need to step up and do their job.What this father did went a little to far and he could of delt with it differently but anyone put in his place as a parent would have done the samething or thought about doing it.

  38. Patricia Robinson says:

    Bullying should be a crime
    When I was in school it was the same way-to the bullies we were targets everyday.
    I was over weight so I was how the bullies spent their time-I say yes! Bullying should be a crime.
    Those boys and girls who enjoy this kind of fun-are hurting our daughters and sons.
    Running, pulling, tripping and pushing in the hall-and standing back waiting for the weak to fall.
    We don’t really know what this bullying does-I know bullying is not the same as love.
    I know the bullies hurt can go so deep-to the point our dreams are riddled with abuse even in our sleep.
    So to the parent of that bully that thinks its all in fun-how would you feel if it was your son.
    Your son locking himself behind doors-scared to walk hard even on his own floor.
    Or your daughter who has lost her smile-dying inside her own denial.
    See we need to pay attention to our kids-as they talk softly trying to hide what they’ve did.
    Those little angels who are proud of stealing another kids soul-those who are keeping our kids from being brazen and bold.
    Bullies can be the worse stain on society-and they are hurting our babies.
    So when a child says your son is doing wrong-we better listen to the song.
    We better listen before its too late-and the child being bullied turns fear into hate.
    And picks up a pipe or a gun-and goes after that angel you say is your son.
    Your son that you wont believe would bully that girl-is becoming a stain on this world.
    Because those being bullied will get tired one day-and that little angel will have to pay.
    Pay with jail time or with his life-because the bully hides it so well we don’t see him strike.
    Even children can be good at wrong-and they get better as others kids go along.
    Because the more that follow, the greater the need-pushing, shoving is how they lead.
    We need to know how our children spend their time-I say yes! Bullying should be a crime. Patricia Robinson1/23/08-7am

  39. Connie Chambers says:

    Dr. Phil, I applaud this father, I, myself have boarded the school bus more than once in defense of my daughter after contacting the school and having them do nothing!

  40. Jenna says:

    Wow, what a great father. That little girl will always remember how her dad stepped in to help her as she gets older. Bullying haunts you for the rest of your life and I wish I would have had a dad that stepped in. I wouldn’t be as hurt as I am today about what occurred 12 years ago. He is what you call an active parent, and I think what he did was wonderful.. Bravo!

  41. Leah Roxanne says:

    Let’s see: a 12 year old girl with CP has condoms thrown at her and is bullied. Now, we have a parent yelling and cussing at all of the children (no particular child singled out) Which one sounds worse?? uuummm. If anyone treated my child like that… they wouldn’t have gotten off that easy!! The bus driver should have cared how the disabled child was being treated. If I was in control of a group of children, I would not care about what they looked like, where they came from, what their gender, color, ethnicity, or anything else… a child is a child and they all have the same feelings. What is wrong with people?????

  42. Lisa says:

    Two of my 3 sons were bullied in grade school. Not by their classmates but by their teachers of all people. I was one of the original “Momma Grizzleys” and I can tell you I was in their face with the principal next to me. The “boys” are now 33 and 25. We have become way to tolerant of bad behavior from all ages. It’s time to stop. We have forgotten what discipline is and I’m not talking about spanking, or hitting of any kind. It’s about the difference between right and wrong. Bullying is wrong, and it’s time for parents to step up to the plate with discipline. Children want it and deserve it.

  43. Leah Roxanne says:

    I teach my children that all children are special at home and they are loved by their parents and siblings. They are probably happy, are very cherished by the parents and grandparents and they are SOMEBODY. But when they step outside it becomes a different world for them, they might not look as cool as some children, or dress or act as cool, but they are special to somebody. So, please treat everyone the same and if you see someone being bullied and do nothing, then you are guilty too!!! We send so many messages in society that eventually stick and one day it will be embarrassing to be known as a bully because that means admitting there is something inferior about a bully and no one wants to be known as inferior.

  44. Lisa Bell says:

    While I have no children yet, I am in education and I have to say it is a sorry state when so many bullies are tormenting children daily. The schools are not in a position to handle the quantity of situations so it is up to parents to step in. Involve police, media, whatever you have to do to keep your kids safe because no one will do it for you. The problem with most bullies is that they have no parenting at home so even if you confron the parents, they will more than likely pat their kid on the back for being the “tough guy”. I wish there was a better solution, but for now I know I will do anything necessary to keep my children safe when the time comes and I applaud the active parent that steps in to help their child when all else fails.

  45. Marcella says:

    This story is from October 16, 1980 before anyone did anything to Bullies. They called it a hunting accident. It was no accident. Our little town had one really bad boy ( I believe he was 14 or 15 years old at that time) in it. He would get caught by our neighbor several times trying to drown cats in the brook next to his house. Well this bully threatened our 12 year old son. He said if he caught him alone any where he would kill him. My son was a very sweet; well liked young lad. My son went to his father and told him that this boy told him this and his father told him that he was just bullying him and that kids don’t kill kids they just say those things to scare people. Well as fate would have it three days after he told his father about it the bully actually saw him up back in the woods where we were living at the time and he shot my son with a 12 gauge shotgun that his adopted parents (his grandfather and grandmother) had just purchased for him. It took him 3 times taking the hunters safty course before they finally just passed him because he obviously was not ever going pass on his own. Nothing was ever done to this child for what he had done. Just so happens that my daughter was friends with one of his half sisters and they all went to the same high school. Stories from my daughter and other friends of ours were (laughing: I killed Justin Martin and got away with it). My sons Birthday was 10/10/1968.

    As far as that man getting on that bus and yelling and swearing in front of all those children may not have been the right thing to do but most of the parents of these kids (and there seems to be more and more of them every day) either are not willing to accept that their child could be like that or they just don’t care what their kids are doing as long as they are not bothering them. When parents try to dicipline their kids their hands are also tied,because the police can’t or won’t do anything to the kids or stand behind the parents. I had grandson that was 10 years old and was not a very nice boy at the time. The school and the authorities told my daughter that if she didn’t make him go to school they would put her in jail. So we tried and about an hour after we practically dragged him there they would call us up and make us come and get him because he was disrupting the class. Also the teachers can only do so much these days. If they touch them or say the wrong thing to them they are not backed up by any higher authority. The kids know that the teachers can’t touch them and sometimes they even threaten the teachers. I know this is a rather long Blog but I just had to get it out of my system. Thanks for letting me use your web-site to vent.
    Thanks again,

  46. Angie says:

    I commend this father for raising his voice. I agree that the manner he did so was out of line but I don’t blame him one bit. Recently my daughter got suspended from riding the bus for a week after she called a kid a name in response to him telling her he was putting her on his ‘to kill’ list. I went to the school the following school day and spoke to the principal. She had not heard anything of this because my daughter was scared of getting into trouble. When it was brought to her attention she investigated and this child was spoken to by a police officer as well as conferences held. I think that was not enough because there should be a 0 tolerance for all of it. More parents need to be involved and support their children and take a stand against bullying. Its not a fun thing to go thru!

  47. jeoihon says:

    Parents have little choice BUT to stand up to bullies these days. The school administrations certainly are a do-nothing group! What is it about our schools that encourage and have encouraged bullying? This problem has gone on for far to long.

  48. Dear Dr. Phil,

    I totally agreed with how the father handled this situation. I don’t agree with the language he used, but he felt like he had to help his daughter. My granddaughter has cerebral palsy and she came home crying one day because these girls that she thought was her friends told these two boys that she has hair on her privates and they pulled her pants down to show it to them. She was so devastated. My daughter and her kids were staying with me at the time and when she came home that day she couldn’t stop crying. She thought these girls were her friend and would never do anything to hurt her. The only thing the daycare did was make them apologize to her and because she is such a loving person, she forgave them.

    It broke my heart that my granddaughter had to go through this and I felt helpless that I couldn’t help her, because I know this is just the beginning of what she is going to go throughout her life leaving with cerebral palsy.

  49. Tarrukla says:

    This episode brought me to tears, and my heart really goes out to this Father. I would do ANYTHING for my children and I cannot find any reason why he shouldn’t have done what he did.

    I heard it mentioned several times that his behavior was inappropriate and his words were harsh, especially considering there were many children on that bus who were innocent but my question is…why is everyone so focused and concerned about that and not was caused it in the first place?

    There was clearly more of a reaction to his behavior than the reason why he ended up on that bus to begin with. Does anyone else see a huge problem with that? I’m disgusted by the lack of concern on the part of the school, parents of those bullying children and even the bus driver. In my Mother’s day, they received the strap and never talked back or showed any form of disrespect; truly we all need to resort back to those days where children grew up with respect for others and if you bullied anyone, there were repercussions for that behavior.

    In my day of age, I have to teach my children all that I can so that they are aware of bullies and what ultimately can happen; the worst possible thought when a child is tormented and pushed to the edge. Do we all need a reminder of what happened with Columbine; I don’t!

    Parents, giddy up and do your part; teach your children respect for others and GET INVOLVED in their lives.

    To the FATHER, if I ever met you; I’d shake your hand! God Bless you for stepping up; she’s precious and I encourage every Parent to stick up for their children like this.

  50. Hannah says:

    Kudos to Mr. Jones. It’s high time that parents take a direct approach to bullying when the school administration will not. I wish someone like Mr. Jones was around when I was in school; it could have saved me years of torment at the hands of bullies. Being an introvert, I was an easy mark, with no knowledge of how to defend myself. Not a single adult chose to be a hero and help put an end to the bullying. It also didn’t help that my siblings and I were wards of the court and in an abusive foster home. It was only after we managed to get out of the foster care system that things improved. Had I not left, the same kids who bullied me in grade and middle school would have continued in high school. How many other children/young adults have to endure this form of torture before an adult like Mr. Jones steps in to intervene on their half? If his actions were so appalling, how much more so the harassment of a disabled child?

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