I’m sure many of you have seen the video or heard the story about James Willie Jones, a father with a daughter with Cerebral Palsy who confronted her bullies on the bus. Mr. Jones is in trouble for confronting and ultimately threatening the kids on the bus that were bullying and harassing his daughter.
Chatari Jones, a sixth-grader at Greenwood Lakes Middle School in Florida was being harassed daily on her bus ride to school. The bullies were spitting on her, verbally abusing her, twisting her ears and throwing condoms at her. She began to withdraw emotionally and when her parents noticed, her dad decided to take action.
The father is now charged with a second degree misdemeanor for threatening the kids and worse yet, the daughter had to be hospitalized after the incident for the stress the whole situation caused. You can watch the TODAY show story about this here.
I have mixed feelings about the situation. It’s a hard situation to understand, unless you are in the father’s shoes. Having worked with cerebral palsy children, it is really amazing to me that kids would pick on this child. What these bullies were doing to Chatari was terrible. When I was growing up, there were parents that would get on the bus and tell bullies to stop and leave children alone. It did happen and at times these parents were angry. Mr. Jones was very angry and using harsh language.
But, his daughter, one he has worked hard to take care of, was in a bad situation and certainly he was angry. So, for parents, what is the better solution? Is the father totally in the wrong?. He has now apologized for what he has done and what has been the punishment for the bullies? How do we deal with the psychological damage done to the daughter?
It is sad that kids chose to pick on this child with disabilities. Does a parent have a right to step in and handle an out-of-control situation when they feel there is no one to turn to? How could this situation be handled differently in the future? These are the questions we need to ask today and I certainly hope Mr. Jones asking for forgiveness is enough.