Ohio dad, Matt Cox, has recently sparked an online parenting debate over the punishment he gave his 10-year-old daughter Kirsten for bullying.
After Kirsten was given a 3-day suspension from the school bus for her second-time offense bullying another child, her father decided to take matters into his own hands by forcing her to make the 5-mile trek to school in 36-degree weather.
“That five-mile walk to school was broken up over Kirsten’s three-day suspension,” reported WTVG. “She finished the last two miles on Wednesday.”
“Let me make this extremely clear. Bullying is unacceptable, especially in my household,” Cox said in a video he recorded while following his daughter to school. “Friday when my daughter brought home her paperwork for her bus suspension, she said, ‘Daddy you’re gonna have to take me to school next week. As you see, this morning she is learning otherwise.”
Cox continued to explain that so many kids today perceive what their parents do for them — and even what their schools do for them (i.e. bus rides) — as rights rather than privileges. In making Kirsten make the long journey by foot, he attempted to prove to her the opposite.
“My daughter is going to walk 5 miles to school in 36-degree weather,” the father continued. “I know a lot of you parents are not going to agree with this, but that is alright because I’m doing what I feel is right to teach my daughter a lesson and to stop her from bullying.”
He ended the video with a charge to other children to understand the seriousness of bullying and its repercussions:
“So children if you’re watching this, please understand that bullying is unacceptable everywhere and will not be tolerated.”
The 2-minute video was since gone wildly viral, amassing 16 million views and over 345,000 shares this week.
UPDATE: lesson learned! Still has all her extremities intact is happy and healthy and seems to have a new outlook on bullying as well as a new appreciation for some of the simple things in life she used to take for granted #HOLDOURKIDSACOUNTABLE #STOPBULLYING
Posted by Matt Cox on Monday, December 3, 2018
As he anticipated, Cox has received some backlash from other parents who perceive his choice of punishment as out of line.
“Humiliate her by putting her on Facebook being punished. Irony,” commented one user.
But a great deal of the 66,000 comments have been positive, and many have applauded his choice to end bullying.
“As the grandparent of an autistic boy who has been the victim of neighborhood bullies, I applaud you! Too many parents do nothing,” said one proud grandparent.
“Wish more parents took the time to hold their children accountable for unacceptable behavior,” added another Facebook user.
As for Cox, he believes he made the right decision, as the resulting behavior he’s seen from Kirsten has been positive. In a Facebook update, he gladly reported that his 10-year-old says she’s now learned the importance of being kind and respectful to other kids.
What do you think of Matt Cox’s punishment for the sake of stopping bullying? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!