As a mother, there are two things you don’t do. You don’t talk about my child, and you don’t hit my child. I am the quintessential “momma bear” and proud of it. When my son was in 5th grade, for the better part of his school year, he experienced bullying from a classmate. This classmate was 2 years older than him, but was held back previous years. One day after school was dismissed, the boy once again picked a fight with my son, but this time my son fought back. The principal called me the next day and informed me about the incident and told me my son wasn’t in trouble, but he did schedule a meeting with the other boy’s parent.
Even though my son stood up to his bully, he feared retaliation. The next day I made it a point to show up for dismissal. Sure enough I noticed the boy approaching my son. I immediately ran up to the boy and grabbed him by his backpack. All of the kids looked shocked, and I heard a few, “Ohhh, that’s Jaden’s mom.” I asked the kid to tell me where he lived, because I planned on showing up to his house. He refused. So I followed him home in my car. I confronted his mother about the incident, told her what was happening for weeks, and she took matters into her own hands. As she closed the door after our conversation, I heard her tell the kid to grab her belt. Did I feel bad he was about to get whooped? Maybe a little, but better her doing it than me. After that incident, he’s been a welcome visitor in my home and has been friends with my son ever since. But he’s still deathly afraid of me.
Unfortunately confronting a child’s bully doesn’t always go so smoothly. Take Felecia Phillips, 35, of Bunnell, Florida, as an example. Felecia is currently facing child abuse charges after a school bus brawl was caught on camera and says she has no regrets about going after a teenager she says was bullying her son. Felecia’s 15-year-old son, Terez, was being tormented by his 17-year-old bully, Justin. Because she was worried about her son’s safety she escorted him onto his bus, even before they could board the bus, Justin allegedly started arguing with Terez. Things got heated and Felecia smooshed the teen in the face. “Words kept going back and forth or whatever, and he called me out,” Felecia said. “And I smooshed him in his face or whatever,” is what Felicia told NBC Orlando affiliate WESH.com. The teen then slammed Felecia onto the ground. Felecia then allegedly followed him onto the bus, grabbing his hair as the bus driver yelled that she needed to get off the bus and other students tried to stop the brawl.
Felecia was arrested and charged with child abuse and trespassing on school property. Her bond was set at $2,500. After paying bond, she told Florida’s News4Jax.com she felt Mickens got what he deserved. “That’s what they need; a good old-fashioned whooping,” she said. “We’re not able to do that because we end up in jail — child abuse charges.
Although Justin was also involved in the altercation, he was not charged, because according to the deputies, he was fighting in self-defense. Terez feels proud of his mother, and is glad she stepped in. “I feel great about it because I know a lot of people wish they had a mom that had their back,” he told News4Jax.com. “Some parents, when you tell them, they just ignore it.”
Let’s repeat that again: Some parents, when you tell them, they just ignore it. I can definitely see that as a huge issue when it comes to bullying. I’ve heard other parents tell their kids to handle it on their own, or let the school handle. Although there are anti-bullying policies in schools, what do they really accomplish? Most will hand down a suspension or detention, and only severe bullying will get the authorities involved.
Hopefully this incident will teach this bully a lesson, and also others that may have been on that bus. Lesson #1: Stop bullying Lesson #2. If you bully Felecia’s son, you’ll have to answer to her.