Saturday, January 07, 2006

A story out of Florida got me thinking. A woman was caught on a school bus video camera of physically abusing a six-year old boy. Apparently, Coni Staton was angry that some of the kids were taunting her child.

After watching the video (the link above offers the clip), there appears no doubt that she pushed the boy and forced him on to a seat.

Staton was arrested the next day.

While I certainly agree that she shouldn't have manhandled the boy, what should she have done? According to the story, Staton told investigators that her foster daughter, in the back of the bus, was too afraid to get off. As a victim of constant bullying and a parent as well, I understand the fear and frustration that the woman and the child must feel. Often times, a child can't tell anyone about the abuse because they're terribly afraid of retribution. If the child does tell a parent, then it's just as likely the parents of the bully are either indifferent or incapable of stopping the child (at least in my experience).

Again, I am not condoning what this woman did. However, when it comes to your own child, emotions can easily get the best of you. When one of my children gets bullied (believe me that it happens a lot when you have children with spectrum disorders), my first thought is tremendous anger towards the perpetrator. In certain cases, the parent had the attitude of "boys will be boys" and nothing was done to correct the situation. In other incidences, the parent was either clueless or in denial that their little angel was any trouble (all the while laughing about it in the other room).

The mother of the boy, Trevina Crawford, said she was outraged by the video. "I don't even touch my son like that, so what gives her the God-given right to put her hands on my baby?" Crawford questioned.

Before we attack this woman for her actions, perhaps we should also see the video of the children taunting the poor girl. Perhaps we should see video of his parents parenting their son.

Maybe if Ms. Trevina had touched her son like that, he wouldn't be so quick to bully a little girl.

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