The frustrated father whose daughter was bullied on a Florida school bus was justifiably upset, but wrong in how he approached the issue.
Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right
James Willie Jones made national news this past week when a school bus video captured him yelling at students and the bus driver, and gesturing in anger in frustration aboard the bus. He believed his daughter, a 13-year-old with cerebral palsy, had been repeatedly harassed on the bus.
Yesterday, Jones apologized for his behavior – Fla. dad sorry for storming school bus, threats:
“At that time, I was a bully. And I apologize again for that,” said Jones. “If you see the tape, I feel like I was backed up against the wall as a parent. I just didn’t know where else to go. We definitely don’t want to promote that. We don’t want vigilantes going on buses, threatening kids, because kids have rights too.”
Jones, like many parents, was frustrated that efforts to address safety concerns about his daughter were incomplete or unsuccessful. His concern is legitimate. His methods for dealing with his frustration were inappropriate, however, and actually ended up with him being criminally charged by authorities.
Steps Parents Can Take to Address School Safety Concerns
This is why back in January, I provided some Steps Parents Can Take to Address School Safety Concerns. Parents don’t know what to do and/or how to do it. And in most cases, no one is rushing to tell them.
Parents need to follow these steps or similar efforts. As frustrating as it will be, they also need to recognize incidents may not stop on the first time school administrators address the issue with students.
Often it requires ongoing monitoring and, unfortunately, revisiting the issue more than once until the matter resolves. In some of the more extreme cases this could, and often does, take more time than anyone (students or the adults) prefer.
Persistence Pays (Albeit it a Frustrating Process)
Two wrongs don’t make a right, as the saying goes, and parents need to make sure their students’ frustrations, as well as their own frustrations, do not further complicate an already difficult situation. Being persistent and following the proper process, while sometimes frustrating itself, can lead to the resolution students and parents desire if they take the proper steps to address their safety concerns.
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