Anyone who’s been the victim of a bully knows it’s no fun. One bully’s father knew all too well how it felt, which is why he treated his daughter’s victim to a shopping spree.
Here’s How the Bully’s Father Treated the Victim With a Shopping Spree
Meet Randy Smalls. He’s the famous bully’s father. This South Carolina dad had been saving up money so he could take his 13-year-old daughter, Re’Onna on a shopping spree because he knew how much she loves shopping. However, before he could take Re’Onna on the shopping spree, he learned that she had been bullying, Ryan Reese, another girl at Berkley Middle School. Apparently Re’Onna had been part of a group of friends who was making fun of seventh grader, Ryan’s makeup and clothes.
While Ryan’s mother and Re’Onna’s mother (Ryan’s wife) are friends, they didn’t know what was occurring between the two girls for a while. Both Re’Onna’s mother and father were sad to learn of this bullying, especially considering it was to a family friend.
Randy had been the victim of bullying when he was a teenager, and he remembered how he had suffered; so it was particularly alarming to him. He hated to learn that his own daughter, Re’Onna, was actually doing that to someone else.
He told Yahoo News, “When you laugh along, you’re co-signing the bullying.”
So he came up with a creative punishment that was praised around the country. He wanted something that would teach her a lesson and cause her to stop bullying others right away.
As he got to thinking about all the work he had put into saving money to take his bullying daughter on a shopping spree, he realized he wasn’t comfortable awarding her when she was behaving in such a harmful way to another human being. He knew she didn’t deserve such a gift at this point in her life.
So instead of taking his daughter on a shopping spree this bully’s father treated his daughter’s victim, Ryan, to a shopping spree.
Ryan told reporters, “I wasn’t expecting it. I just started to cry.”
Because the two families knew each other, Re’Onna’s parents called Ryan’s family and asked if Randy could take Ryan on a shopping spree that had been meant for his daughter.
In response to Randy’s offer, Ryan’s mom said, “This is the first time I have seen a parent take such a stance on bullying.”
They agreed, so he sent his daughter to church, and then he took Ryan to get a makeover. He also paid for Ryan in advance to have two beauty salon appointments for the rest of the year! And with all the publicity this bully’s father got, some local salons even offered some free services for Ryan for the following few months.
As for the shopping spree, he did let his daughter participate to some degree.
The bully’s father speaking of his daughter said, “My daughter was upset, especially because she is into fashion.”
According to Randy, he let his daughter join him and Ryan on the shopping spree, but only to help Ryan pick out new clothes for herself.
And his timing was impeccable. Ryan had just lost three relatives, including her dad, granddad, and aunt. In addition to the losses, Ryan was also suffering from stress-related non-epileptic seizures.
Speaking about the bullying she experienced, Ryan said, “It was really sad for me because I had lost my grandpa, father, and aunt, and it really took me deep down in my depression.”
Both families were interviewed on GMA3.
Randy, himself, was reportedly overwhelmed by the response he saw from the community. He just did it to help his daughter to learn how to treat others. He said, “I didn’t expect for this to get big,” and explained he was happy for the publicity if it means other parents learn from it.
“As parents, we have to take responsibility for what our children do. We can teach our children,” Randy said when featured on GMA3, “But when they go and are around other children, they can veer off a little bit.”
Randy encouraged other parents to take action, “and be the parent and not the friend.”
According to Ryan’s mother, the two girls are now getting along. “They’re cool now,” she said.
In the interview, Re’Onna shared that she had learned from the experience, and she now had empathy for Ryan. She said that even though she was initially mad that her dad gave away her shopping spree, she thought, “I’m glad I did this because she really needed the help.”