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Mom faces criticism after bully son wears punishment shirt to school: ‘I don’t coddle my children’

A Texas mom comes up with a creative way to curb her son's in-school bullying. She sent her son to school wearing a T-shirt that read "I am a bully" as punishment, and the school backed her decision. (Image source: KTRK-TV video screenshot)

A Texas mother faced heavy criticism after sending her son to school wearing a T-shirt that read "I am a bully" as punishment, according to KTRK-TV.

What are the details?

The Splendora, Texas, mom — identified by only her first name, Star — said that when she discovered that her fifth-grade son had been bullying, she had what she believed to be a fitting solution.

Star created a T-shirt for her son, emblazoned with the words "I am a bully," and required the child to wear it to school as punishment for calling other boys in the school "stupid" and "idiots."

"I am a very old-school parent," Star told the station. "I don't coddle my children. I don't sugar-coat the world to them."

Star even went as far as to share the images of her son wearing the shirt on Facebook but said that she did not post them in an attempt to humiliate the child.

"I posted [the photos] to reach out to the parents of any of the kids my son may have bullied so that each one of them could get a personal apology," Star explained.

Star admitted that she removed the photos from Facebook after receiving criticism for her parenting decision, but she also said that she doesn't regret making her son wear the shirt.

"I wanted to know what he learned from it and he said, 'I learned that I didn't like the way that that felt and I don't want anybody else to feel that way because of me,'" she said. "That's exactly what I wanted him to take from it."

Star also said that the school fully backed her decision to discipline her son in the way she did.

"They all were 100 percent on board. They understood why I was doing it, and for my son, this is what works," she explained.

"He'll survive," Star later added. "And he's already been treating his sisters better. He's already been treating his cousins better. He learned from it. That's all that matters."

Did the school issue a response?

According to the station, Splendora ISD responded to the incident in a statement.

A spokesperson for the district said, "Parents have the rights to make important decisions and take certain actions on behalf of their child.

"This parent met with our counselor at Greenleaf Elementary School to discuss the student wearing the 'I am a Bully' T-shirt. The counselor, parent, and student met with all three of the student's teachers prior to entering the classroom. The parent explained her rationale for the student wearing the shirt to the teachers and counselor," the statement continued.

"Ensuring a safe, physical, emotional, and social environment is one of Splendora ISD's Core Principles," the statement added. "With that in mind, our counselor checked on the child throughout the day on Friday and plans to follow up with the student and the parent early this week."

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