Matt Cox, of Swanton, said in the Facebook video that his 10-year-old daughter, Kirsten, had been kicked off the school bus twice for bullying another student. Thus, Cox would have to drive Kirsten to school.
Instead, he used the opportunity to teach his daughter a lesson.
“Let me make this extremely clear, bullying is unacceptable, especially in my household,” Cox is heard saying in the video, shared on Monday.
“A lot of children today feel that the things their parents do for them is a right and not a privilege, such as parents taking their children to school in the morning. Or even bus rides to school in the morning. All of that is a privilege and should be treated as such. So today my beautiful daughter is going to walk five miles to school in 36-degree weather.”
In the footage, Kirsten is shown walking on the side of the road as Cox apparently followed behind in his vehicle. Although many social media users applauded the father for taking action, some accused him of “public shaming,” and wrote in the video’s comment section that he had gone overboard with the lesson.
However, Cox stood by the punishment in an interview with WTVG.
“Parents need to hold their kids accountable. That was me showing how I hold my kid accountable,” Cox told the station. “I’m not going to be another parent that’s just going to brush things under the rug and say kids will be kids.”
Kirsten said she’s learned her lesson and has received support from her family even as she’s faced bullying.
“I was bullied many times by kids bigger than me,” she told WTVG, and Cox noted that Kirsten’s punishment was split over the course of her three-day suspension. She walked the final two miles on Wednesday.
Cox updated the Facebook post on Wednesday, writing, “Life lessons!!!!”
“UPDATE: lesson learned! Still has all her extremities intact is happy and healthy and seems to have a new outlook on bullying as well as a new appreciation for some of the simple things in life she used to take for granted #HOLDOURKIDSACOUNTABLE #STOPBULLYING,” he continued.