Was a dad wrong to threaten boys bullying his daughter?

A father was arrested last week after he got on a school bus and threatened boys who had been bullying his special needs daughter, deputies said. The 13-year-old daughter has cerebral palsy.

From The Associated Press:

“…(James Willie) Jones boarded the school bus Sept. 3 because several boys were allegedly bullying his daughter, according to the sheriff’s office report. He told deputies the boys placed an open condom on his daughter’s head, smacked her on the back of her head, twisted her ear and shouted rude comments at her, the report said.”

“Video surveillance from the bus shows Jones asking his daughter to point out the students accused of harassing her. Jones is heard on the video threatening those who bully his daughter, and he also threatens the bus driver.”

“Jones then steps off the bus. Some children are heard laughing….”

“The girl had to be hospitalized because of stress from the confrontation. The father, James Willie Jones, was arrested Thursday after he stormed onto the bus two weeks ago and later released on bail. He hopes to apologize to the children, said his attorney, Natalie Jackson.”

” ‘The little girl was scared to go to school. There has to be something done about school bullying,’ Jackson said.”

I guess you should go through “proper channels” but I completely understand a father’s need to yell at kids hurting his child.

And it doesn’t sound like the kids took him seriously. I’m not so sure the bus driver yelling at them or the principal bringing them in is going to be more effective.

What would you do if your special needs child was being bullied on the bus or at school? Should the father have been arrested? Is yelling at the kids enough to be arrested? (I could understand more if he hit them.) What should the school district do now?

79 comments Add your comment

[...] Was a dad wrong to threaten boys bullying his daughter?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)He hopes to apologize to the children, said his attorney, Natalie Jackson.? ? 'The little girl was scared to go to school. There has to be something done …and more » [...]

Cynthia M

September 20th, 2010
1:15 am

I am truly not defending the actions of this dad, but don’t you know he got so tired of other kids making fun of his daughter. We know kids handle “different” kids in many ways – most of them are not very kind. This dad had probably spent hours watching his daughter take and take and take bullying because she was viewed as weak.Well on this video he had enough and intended to end it there! “Going through the proper channels” would have been a huge act of frustration.

Proper Channels

September 20th, 2010
6:26 am

Proper Channels? the failure of those “proper channels” is one of the many reasons that little boy in DeKalb decided to hang himself because of bullying….

Sometimes going outside the lines makes the biggest impact.

Ralph

September 20th, 2010
6:33 am

The Father did the right thing as the protector of his child in all familys in America. The school should be sued for not protecting His child. The state should be sued for not making sure that His child was protected. He did the right thing. A good and loving Father.

Jeff

September 20th, 2010
6:39 am

I have to admit that I would have a hard time NOT doing the same thing if I perceive things going too far and the “proper channels” failing to resolve the problem. There are times when this is the thing we dads have to do and most of us don’t mind doing it when it is justly called for.

And, yes, I would be able to sleep at night.

Jones for Prez

September 20th, 2010
6:46 am

Good man, you are. I would have whupped those boys’ rear. D@mn little brats! This society has been tolerating such behaviors enough. Time to show the bullies that we mean business.
Jones need not apologize those d@mn brats. I am proud of you, Jones. I would have done more than yelling at those bullies.

catlady

September 20th, 2010
6:59 am

Once she had been struck, I would have called the police and had a warrant taken out and I would have wanted to be there when the warrant was executed.

When it was verbal, I would have gone to the school with the complaint, made sure everything was in writing, explained their liability, and engaged a lawyer. But once it crossed to physical, I would have gone after them through the police, and let a lawyer explain to their parents the civil liability they faced for their sons.

C. Lee West

September 20th, 2010
7:02 am

It is extremely hard for parents of special needs children to keep tthem from becoming depressed due to their circumstances. When school or bus bullies pick on a disabled child, it effects the whole family. These bullies need to be placed in a similar situation and put through holy hell in the same manner they have been using. There are bullies in every walk of life but someone who would persecute a child needs to be punished as severely as possible. I can’t print what they really need but a trip out behind the barn for a real country butt whopping would be a good start.

catlady

September 20th, 2010
7:02 am

Of course, I would have also made a great deal of noise until the hoodlums and driver were off the bus.

madmommy

September 20th, 2010
7:05 am

Good for him. I do think he might have tried going another route, but he did get his message across and I really hope those kids listened. Kids today just don’t care and they feel that everythng is just a huge joke and not to be taken seriously since they won’t need a brain or morals cause they are just going to make millions off of reality tv.

Good Ole JR

September 20th, 2010
7:05 am

I dont think the father was wrong in this case, all too often when you go through the “proper channels” nothing gets done..I speak from experience on this one, having girls in school, this has happened to us, we went through the proper channel and nothing was done..the repeated inquiries were shelved. Schools dont want to believe that it can happen to their school, but it is. I even confronted the parents of the bully, whom of course said ” my child wouldnt do that” well that child picked on the wrong sister, the younger one and she knocked her on her but, and that was the end of that situation, Mr. Jones as a father, you did what you had too to protect your family and your GOD given right to FREEDOM and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Chris G

September 20th, 2010
7:05 am

Protect your family….end of story.
Arrest? no
Proper channels = red tape
Get sue happy? Normally no, but since he was arrested I would.

catlady

September 20th, 2010
7:08 am

Let some of the badder dudes down in lockup give these boys a little schoolin’–they probably would be victimized quickly.

NO ONE should be touching this little girl like that. It IS assault. And sometimes bullies and their parents gotta be hit with all of the firepower that is possible.

I DON”T think the Dad helps his daughter by getting arrested, no matter how good it would feel to thrash those boys. Just going onto that bus, HE gets in trouble, HE gets laughed at. Wrong message–impotence–which reinforces the bullies. Being taken away in handcuffs will usually wipe the smirk off the boys’ faces and those of their friends. Being someone’s “bitch” in jail will get the rest of the smirk off.

Big Daddy

September 20th, 2010
7:08 am

Very simple: Identify the boys who were picking on the girl, contact their parents and DEMAND the boys be punished. If the parents refuse, file suit against the parents. Americans with disabilities act, sexual harrassment, or whatever. As parents we all feel the need to protect our children, but as painful and sad as it seems, in this case, when you are dealing with the actions of minors, there is an age appropriate (for the dad) manner to acheive the desired results.

deidre_NC

September 20th, 2010
7:17 am

properr channels do not always work. i had an experience with my youngest eing bullied on the bus when she was around 7 or 8. this girl was psycho and bullied all the kids. hitting, name calling etc. my daughter (who is not a scared kind of kid) would refuse to ride the bus. i tried talking to her mom. notthing changed. i called the principal of the school. he told me there was nothing he could do unless the driver reported it. i called the driver, she said she didnt know this was happening. i called the principal back and told him maybe he should have a monitor on the bus since the drivers job was to drive the bus and maybe she couldnt pay close enough attention to the kids while she was trying to drive safely. i was told that they didnt have anyone who could monitor and did i want to ride the bus and monitor! all this was not said very nicely. i finally threatened to call the cops and take out an assault warrant on the kid and a a negligence warrant on the driver. they finally got that girl off of the bus. it really was frustrating and i can surely see how this dad lost his cool. i wish he could have been less threatening and used less profanity. all that did was get him in trouble and now the bullies are laughing and i wonder if they have stopped. id like to hear a follow up on what if anything was done about this. and the parents of the bullies-grr….theyre the ones id like to punch in the face.

HB

September 20th, 2010
7:27 am

It always surprises me that drivers are still alone on buses with kids. How can anyone reasonably expect them to monitor the kids and maintain discipline while driving?

Doesn’t sound like the dad handled this well, but it’s hard to blame him. His heart was in the right place–protecting his little girl.

Damon

September 20th, 2010
7:37 am

Sometimes doing the right thing has consequences in this case threatening the kids and bus driver. The father did the right thing regardless of his punishment. As for the proper channels, that is a joke and a half the public school system is about as effective in dealing with bullies as gasoline is as effective has putting out a fire.

Dad

September 20th, 2010
7:39 am

I am on his side but I will also say it was ill-advised and will only bring the father trouble. I also think if my daughter had a disability she would be driven to school by me or my wife or her grandparents. Kids are too mean to expose her to the possibility of kids making fun for entertainment. And the kids who were bullying should lose bus privileges so they can’t bully anyone else. Hit the parents with having to drop and p/u everyday and suddenly they’re motivated to correct the kids behavior.

Heard It All Before

September 20th, 2010
7:40 am

The only mistake the dad made was threatening the scum in front of witnesses. Better he waits for a chance to get them alone and let them know what’s coming for them; then, he can simply deny it if the scum or their parents bring a complaint.

JoAnn

September 20th, 2010
7:41 am

The proper channels with kids today is a joke within itself. Most kids suffer no consequenses for their actions, that’s why it’s so easy to keep acting like young boneheads. “Go Dad!”

Rick

September 20th, 2010
7:44 am

School administrators are not doing their job…as usual! They are too afraid of the bullies parents.

We need very forceful action against bullies, especially against a young student with a disability. Hold these school administrators accountable, they always seem to squeal and squirm their ways out of their responsibilities. Make this a criminal action for the bullies parents to deal with and take these cases to court and make these parents pay for not holding their own kids accountable. They are responsible for actions of their children!

shaggy

September 20th, 2010
7:44 am

This reminds me of the story, a few years back, of a father doing what needed to be done.

A father’s little girl had been savagely raped, nearly killed. The perpetrator was caught in another city, the evidence was mountainous, he fought extradition, and had said some vile things about the girl. Well, the father learned when this scumball was going to be transported through a busy airport, and patiently waited, pretending to use the pay phone nearest the walkway. As they brought the sleeze bucket, cuffed and beligerant, by the pay phone where dad waited, he calmly stepped up and put a bullet into the criminal’s head, thus avenging his angel and saving the taxpayers plenty of money.

As I recall, the father went to trial, and was given some kind of suspended sentence, with unsupervised probation. In essence, the legal system thanked this father for his service. He!!, I think they shouid have payed the dad for his ammunition.

shaggy

September 20th, 2010
7:46 am

And yes, that should be “paid”. I am still asleep after a huge weekend.

Beat'em

September 20th, 2010
7:52 am

Man it’s tough being a parent these days.

If the school is not effective. I’d have to call for a meeting with the parents and principle. If any threats will be made, it’ll be behind closed doors. If the bullying continues, I’ll just go up to the school and snatch the culprits up and spank datazz right there in school.

Whoopum

September 20th, 2010
7:55 am

It would be best to have the bus drivers or other school officials handle these bullying situations; however, if they don’t, I don’t see anything wrong with a father taking up for his child and giving the bullies a little taste of their own medicine.

MomOf2Girls

September 20th, 2010
8:02 am

I am not opining one way or the other, but I do have a question. If there is video of the incident with the father, is there also video of the attacks on his daughter? There’s been no mention of it that I’m aware of. I am not saying the attacks on the daughter did not occur, but it seems to me unlikely that there would only be video of the day the father chose to seek justice and not any other times. Assuming the attacks occurred as the girl reported, there should be some video of that to bring balance to what the father did. Again, I am not condoning or condemning, just wondering where the “rest of the story” is.

Jones for Prez

September 20th, 2010
8:06 am

Here’s the footage. As a father, I can sympathize with Mr. Jones for letting out his frustration.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/videobeta/?watchId=c2f631eb-fa12-4211-8d5d-abd0ed1c5865

Photius

September 20th, 2010
8:07 am

The father was way out of line and should not have done that. What if he was provided with the wrong information and went after an innocent child? No way. Use the proper channels and don’t threaten children as an adult.

Danielle

September 20th, 2010
8:09 am

I think that father had every right to do what he did. He yelled at some punks to leave his daughter alone….don’t we have a right to voice our concerns here in America? I hope he doesn’t apologize to those teenage boys because then they will feel justified in their bullying.

Lee

September 20th, 2010
8:14 am

Bullying is bad; bullying a child with cerebral palsy is uncalled for. I think the Dad showed great restraint. Had it been me, I would have spanked the punks behind like their parents should have. That being said I would look at various civil law remedies to the situation up to and including filing suit against the boys parents.

Keeping it Real

September 20th, 2010
8:14 am

This father would have done the exact same thing. And if need be would have confronted the kids parents, too.

Mike

September 20th, 2010
8:18 am

Arresting the father for without knowing all the facts seems overboard. I understand a father protecting his daughter, I don’t undrestand the bus driver not reporting the bulling. Maybe the father should have sent to Texas for the teachers assistance to handle the bullies.

ssidawg

September 20th, 2010
8:19 am

Go Dad! Your daughter comes first. POS bullies need to be put in their places.

With what, exactly...

September 20th, 2010
8:19 am

…was the father charged?

mom2alex&max

September 20th, 2010
8:33 am

Go Dad! I probably would have exhausted other venues first like talking to the principal, the DOT, and getting a lawyer and calling the cops; but I don’t blame him ONE LITTLE BIT. I have taught my children to defend themselves in this kind of situation and that *I* will deal with the consequences whatever they may be, but this is a special needs child. She could not defend herself. May those brats rot in jail.

Suni

September 20th, 2010
8:43 am

“What would you do if your special needs child was being bullied on the bus or at school? Should the father have been arrested? Is yelling at the kids enough to be arrested? (I could understand more if he hit them.) What should the school district do now?”

If someone was bullying my child (special needs or not) and the school/bus driver was unable/unwilling to stop that from happening, I’d feel the need and the responsibility to step in. The bottom line to me is it is my responsibility to Protect my child, AND my Right to do so. It is a shame on the Government that allows such things to happen to our children to begin with, and makes it likely and necessary for Parents to have to step in. Too much power and protection is provided to the perps and offenders.

No, the Father should not have been arrested for addressing this issue. He didn’t hurt or put his hands on anyone. He may have warned them, but at least he saw fit to warn them. A Gift in my opinion. I am quite upset to hear that the Father was arrested for speaking up for and trying to protect his child, however vicious and threatening his words may have been. What a shame on our Society that it’s perfectly alright for our children to be harmed by others, but when we object to that and try to stop that from happening, we can be jailed. “Evil flourishes when good men do nothing”, and yet, when good men Do Something they are the ones considered Wrong? What is wrong with this picture?

No, “yelling” at someone who is doing wrong should not be enough (even if they are kids being yelled at) to cause the person who is yelling about the wrong to be jailed. That to me is ridiculous! And wouldn’t have been necessary if the children were taught and disciplined properly by their Parents and other figures of authority to begin with.

The School district (like the Father) probably has little power to do much. But that Needs to Change. The perps (even children) need to suffer the consequences of their actions. And the power to control and manage children needs to be returned to Parents and Schools.

We All have Boundaries, and Limits, and a Right to Safety for ourselves and our children, and those should be Respected and Supported not penalized.

While you have a Right and the Freedom to swing your arm all you wish, your Right and your Freedom to swing your arm Ends where my nose Starts! To me it’s just that simple. And people need to stand up against anyone or anything that opposes this simple Fact!

I support this Father who stood up against wrong and harm to his child 110%, and his Right to do so. If the Parents of these children that caused this to be necessary to happen don’t like it, they should Teach and Discipline their children better and it won’t have to.

DB

September 20th, 2010
8:53 am

So . . . while they were arresting the dad, were they also arresting the little slime-buckets who were bullying the little girl?

The fact that the little sh!ts are still alive shows remarkable restraint, to me! :-) Hit and abuse my child, who is already dealing wit cerebral palsy? You might as well stick a collar on those little animals and drag them down to the SPCA. At least, there, they put out-of-control animals DOWN. I suspect that this man doesn’t mind being arrested one little bit — and now the onus is on the school to defend themselves for not providing a safe learning and transportation environment for his child.

You know as well as I do what would have happened if he had gone through “official” channels — the same thing that happens to bullies at school every day — NOTHING, because of their precious “rights” to terrorize other students. For that kind of abuse, their little asses should be kicked out of school. Permanently. And if the father isn’t suing them for assault, he should be.

When my son almost ended up with a concussion in middle school after the school bully decided that my son was his “victim of the year”, I was nice and polite until I hit the typical “we’ll look into it” crap. Smiling, I told the school that either they dealt with the kid decisively TODAY, or I was charging both the child AND the school for assault and conspiracy to commit assault. I had my hand on the cell phone as I was saying it, and they took me seriously. The kid was gone the next week, and was not allowed back the next year.

Lori

September 20th, 2010
9:00 am

I’m wondering if he even attempted to get the school involved. Certainly he should have contacted the school and informed them of what was going on. If he was available to be at the bus stop, then he may be also been available to drive her to school for a short while until the issue could be resolved. I do not believe confronting the other children in a angry manner will solve anything. Their parents should have been notified, the school should have been notified, and if it escalated to physical violence, then the police should have been notified. Verbally “bullying” the perpetrators just continues the violence. I think he handled this situation poorly.

JATL

September 20th, 2010
9:19 am

This dad is a HERO! It’s a shameful statement on our society that he was arrested. Those little SH**S need their A$$E$ whipped soundly. He does NOT need to apologize to anyone! More parents need to be standing up like this guy did and maybe these little devils will start to pay attention. There are reasons that bullying is a problem now like it’s never been before and all of us being oh-so-PC about everything is one of them.

DB

September 20th, 2010
9:27 am

@Lori: Your response is reasoned and reasonable. However, your comment “verbally ‘bullying’ the perpetrators just continues the violence” seems to overlook the fact that bullies only respond to one thing: strength. ISS, “talking to”, etc., doesn’t show bullies the error of their ways — they only respect strength and only back down when they run into someone stronger than they are — which this little girl will never be.

Why should he be the one to take his little girl off the bus? Why are these little cretins still allowed to ride the bus? Do they not realize that having transportation provided is a privilege, not a right? It’s their parents who should be schlepping their kids back and forth to school, now — not this dad. Taking her off the bus only strengthens the assumption that there is something wrong with HER. How much more educational for the other kids to see the bullies taken off the bus.

JATL

September 20th, 2010
9:32 am

@TWG -once again, my post has disappeared! Is there a problem somewhere in cyber land? I posted on the last topic, it never appeared, but I was in too much of a hurry to ask you to find it. Anyway -this is getting tiresome. Please find it and check to see if there’s some issue. Seems like a lot of people are having their posts lost lately.

JATL

September 20th, 2010
9:49 am

Drawing Black Lines

September 20th, 2010
9:49 am

I like how the Sheriff’s Dept stated that the father should have called them! HA! Wow – what charge? The police wouldn’t have done anything at all and everybody knows it. I wouldn’t have threatend the children or the driver but I stand behind the father getting on the bus and raising his voice. Its about time people started doing things like this. This society is out of control. The kids on the bus ARE NOW THE VICTIMS!! ARE YOU KIDDING? AFTER PUTTING A CONDOM ON THE HEAD OF A DISABLED GIRL, HITTING HER AND PINCHING HER!! WOW AMERICA!!

Bunch of Yentas

September 20th, 2010
10:10 am

I think the Dad is right on.

I think its an easy call to make as a parent. Your child is abused, you step in to stop it.

The harder position for a parent would be if you were the parent of one of the bullies. You tell your child over and over to be kind ot others, but it can still happen.

I think that would be a difficult situation to deal with. If you child was the bully, would you pull him/her out of the school? What would you do?

irisheyes

September 20th, 2010
11:24 am

Here are some of my questions (and, granted, I have not seen all of the coverage, so some of these may have already been answered):
1. Was the bullying occurring on the bus or at the bus stop?
2. Had the bus driver/school been contacted before regarding this?

If the answer is “on the bus” or “the school had been contacted”, then I’m OK with what he did (to a point), BUT if it was happening at the bus stop, and he hadn’t said anything to the bus driver or the school, then I have a real problem with people blaming the school. How in the world can a school do anything when they have no idea what’s going on? I don’t know how many times I get a note from a parent that so and so was teasing their child on the playground, and that child has never once said anything to me! While teachers can see an awful lot, we aren’t omniscient. If you’ve contacted the teacher, and the administrator (in that order, please!), and they haven’t done anything, then you have every right to take matters into your own hands. But don’t blame the schools for something that they don’t even know is happening!!

Now, I have to go get my kiddos from their specials. No more breaks for me!

mom2alex&max

September 20th, 2010
11:29 am

Lori: no offense, but I don’t give a rat’s behind. If my kid is being bullied, my kid will defend himself. PERIOD. This particular child COULD NOT DEFEND HERSELF. She has cerebral palsy!!!! KUDOS TO DAD and I am gonna pray like crazy to be in the jury if his case goes to trial.

LM

September 20th, 2010
11:34 am

I watched some of the snippetts and one of the bully’s mother was angry and defending her child. This is one of the biggest issues we have as a society, parents don’t think their child can do any wrong. Therefore so many children are not being made accountable for their actions.

I think the father did what he felt he had to do to protect his child. I think it was extream and a little overboard. I also don’t think it taught the bullies anything since their parents don’t teach respect and common courtesy.

Cherisse

September 20th, 2010
11:55 am

I completely support and agree with what Mr. Jones did. I have a now 15yr old boy not with any special need but was being bullied for about 3 weeks before I had to take it into my own hands. In my case I did speak first with driver, she addressed and child was removed for 3 days… I then had to contact admin. At school and they made excuses for hus behavior that his mom is in school and dad a truck driver cant ever reach them sent several notes no response I even ask for the number of course they couldnt release… So after knocking my child in thehead with his bookbag causing a knot and tripping him causin a tear in his pants and my child no longer wanting to ride the bus. i ask my son do u know where he lives if i go the bus route he did i said we’re going to his house. My family and friends thought i was crazy but low and behold DAD was home mom at work…. I went right to the door stated who i was this is my child and what his child was doing.. That dad was so
Upset with his child he disciplined him right then and there called his wife i spoke with her she apologized an said no one ever trie to contact, come to find out our kids were very similar minus the bulling they have been friends ever since that day and my husband and i also hang with them were the younger parents 34 and they are in their 40’s so i keep them up to speed on things to watch for as far as computer and allowing the kids to be unattended for long periods of time

Hey, Cherisse...

September 20th, 2010
12:14 pm

…take a breath…

ka ka

September 20th, 2010
12:17 pm

This was a case of I have had enough, this father was angry and in fear of losing his child. As a parent u can go there. Did he go too far, maybe but he did get everybody’s attention that for sure. Not saying that was his intention at the time, he was protecting his child. Children are mean and insensitive to others. The school system is not what it use to be, it does not protect our children. Only after something fatal happens do they/we come up with temporary solutions. I hope and pray that he is not dealt with in the wrong manner.