Parents And Bullies: Taking A Stand Or Going Too Far?
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CHICAGO (CBS) — A mother takes shocking action after she says her son is repeatedly bullied as she forces him to fight and it was all caught on tape.
“Get mad and (bleep) him up,” the mother is heard screaming to her son as he gets into a fist fight with the boy he says continually bullies him. The two boys are seen punching each other and they end up on the ground. The alleged bully has a choke-hold and is on top of the boy who begins yelling that he can not breathe.
“He’s choking me,” the boy yells and his mother responds, “No he ain’t…bang him in his (bleep) face.”
The boy then yells, “Help me mom.”
The mother, Kelly White of Maryland, is facing criminal charges including child abuse and assault because of this fight. She says her son was chased home from school and jumped daily by a group of bullies. She also said school officials failed to help so she wanted to teach her son to defend himself.
“You have to standup for yourself,” said Kelly White. “Because if you don’t, they’re just going to keep on coming after you.”
CBS 2’s Dave Savini examined the extremes parents will go to in the name of protecting their kids, and whether those tactics work. He showed this fight video to Shannon Sullivan of Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and is on the state anti-bullying task force.
“It’s really hard to watch,” Sullivan says about the fight video. “And there’s a kid that’s saying to break it up and the mom is saying no.”
Sullivan says she understands the mom’s frustration, but says violence is never the solution.
“It tells them that violence and fighting is a perfectly acceptable way to handle your problems and it’s not,” says Sullivan who explains that simply giving detentions or suspensions often fail to stop bullying.
“Punitive school discipline doesn’t work,” said Sullivan. “It doesn’t work to change behaviors.”
Instead, says Sullivan, students need to be taught empathy and new problem-solving skills. If bullying persists, parents can get help from her organization.
“There are ways that parents can be heard,” said Sullivan.
A Bolingbrook parent, Eddie Slowikowski, found a different way to address bullying in his son’s school. Slowikowski, his 9-year-old son Jack and other students performed an anti-bullying skit at his Plainfield school after Jack was repeatedly bullied on his bus ride home.
“Every time I tried to get past him, he start punching me,” Jack Slowikowski said about the boy who bullied him. For six months, he says he did not tell anybody about the bullying, not until he was injured.
“He pushed me and I hit my head really hard on the metal,” said Jack Slowikowski.
His mother, Maryann Slowikowski, took her son to the alleged bully’s house.
“I confronted the bully,” said Maryann Slowikowski. “I said, ‘you know I don’t appreciate what you did to my son. I’m not going to let you get away with it'”
“I mean you really got to get everybody involved,” said Eddie Slowikowski. “The parents, the school, the other kids — it’s got to be a community effort.”
Jack Slowikowski said he wanted to fight back, but didn’t, “Because I knew that it wasn’t right to fight back.”
The anti-bullying skit was a step in the right direction, but according to the Slowikowski family, it has not stopped the bullying at the school
Plainfield district 202 has created it’s own bullying task force to alleviate the bullying problem.
The mother of the alleged Baltimore bully says her son is not a bully.
Sullivan says the state task force will be implementing anti-bullying pilot programs next year in a select group of schools
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