After learning that his fourth grader son was in trouble again for bullying, Jose Lagares of Killeen Texas forced his son to stand at a busy intersection with a large pink sign that read, “I am a bully. Honk if you hate bullies.” One might be satisfied with the story ending there, a great example of a man taking an active role in his son’s upbringing and trying to instill character in him, but unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for the sake of creating dialogue, there was more to come.
After hearing about the situation some people felt the need to respond negatively to this father’s actions and call him names. Therefore, Mr. Lagares decided to respond in kind and stood on the same corner that his son had with a sign that read, “I am not sorry. Honk to stop bullying.”
According to an interview on Thursday with local NBC news affiliate KCEN, Lagares had tried several different ways of punishing his son for getting in trouble in school and that this week’s display was a last attempt to try and teach him a lesson. He hoped that by showing his son how embarrassing it is to be singled out in public, that maybe the boy would think twice about doing it again in school. Considering the growing media attention, hopefully the lesson has been learned, though again other people felt that he should atone for making his son’s punishment so public.
Why should he apologize? This is exactly what this country needs, less parents blaming their children’s bad behavior on others and refusing to deal with the problem. How do you expect to raise good adults? You teach your children to do the right thing. In this case, the child was bullying other children and it needed to stop. As Mr. Lagares put it, “. . . we don’t need another Columbine,” referring to the mass shooting of the 90’s in which it was eventually determined that continual bullying against the perpetrators caused them to lash out against those they felt had hurt them.
Lagares is right, and luckily KCEN indicates that this Texas father has received more support than derision. More parents should be trying to teach their children to do the right thing, not expect them to passively know right from wrong, especially with how seldom bad behavior is truly punished in the media they consume. No one is telling anyone how to raise their kids, but if the parents don’t do it, who will?
Watch the report here: