A New Way to Stop Bullying?

A women in Utah found a unique way to punish her soon-to-be stepdaughter for bullying a classmate. She made her wear vintage (ugly) clothes to school in order to teach her a lesson.

Ally Olsen was notified by a teacher that her fiancee’s daughter, Kaylee, was teasing a classmate for weeks about the clothes she wore. After taking to Facebook to find out what an appropriate punishment might be, she decided to take Kaylee shopping. She bought clothes that Kaylee deemed ugly and then made her wear them to school for two days.

An article on Yahoo describes what happened:

Although Kaylee cried, the next day she headed to school wearing one of the outfits under a coat that she had zipped up to her neck. When she came home that afternoon, Kaylee said the kids laughed at her for wearing ‘pajamas.’ She also felt so guilty that she pulled her classmate aside and apologized for her behavior the previous day.

This is taking some pretty drastic steps to teach a lesson about the damage and pain bullying can cause, and it appears to have worked. But was it the best way to have handled this situation?

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8 thoughts on “A New Way to Stop Bullying?”

  1. 2 wrongs don’t make a right!! Publicly humiliating her may have worked in this instance but it could have had the opposite effect as well. What if this situation didn’t have such a happy ending??!! There are better ways to teach!! Although I abore bullying, I can’t condone terrible treatment of someone, no matter what my first reactions are. Please think this through people, before deciding a reaction of this nature. I do agree that the girl needed some type of dicipline for her actions though.

  2. Not appropriate. Now the step mom to be is also a bully. Rather than shaming and embarrassing her, restorative practices could have been considered. Hurt people hurt others.

  3. The stepmom knew the child. The child apologized. Stepmom knew how far to go to handle this situation. Sometimes the only way to open a person’s eyes is to walk in another person’s shoes.

  4. After voting, I was among the 70% who voted “yes.” Currently, I see only 3 comments. The two voters, whom i assume voted “no” did not agree with the rest of the 70%. In NO way do I challenge and/or debate/argue their opinions. I am just a curious parent whose child has and is contantly bullied, as to what action they would have taken if they were in the same situation.

  5. I think this way of “teaching” the girl empathy could actually be more damaging to the girl. She may have come to understand how the girl felt, but at what cost? This lesson coming from a future stepmother as well does not bode well for the new family relationships either.

  6. Leah i empathize with you. I too am the parent of a child who was bullied. So much so that we put him in a private school. But I still disagree with the humiliation tactic. I’m not sure what alternative to suggest at this moment, but turning a bully into the victim of bullying does not solve this systemic problem.

  7. it was a hard lesson, but it made the girl think and realize how she had hurt the other girl. I wonder though, would the stepmother have taught her own child this way?

  8. Too often i see frequent smokers, excessive alcohol drinkers and continuous bullying. the smoker sees written warnings on the packs they buy, have visually seen lung cancer develop and even the suffering of another. You can show the alcoholic the effects of psoriasis of the liver and pain and suffering that comes along with this habit. Somehow there is a disconnect that this wont happen to them or if they can’t see it, because internal pictures looks different on the inside, they deny and continue their abuse. It’s seems as if they have to officially experience the true reality before the reality sets in. The comments were fantastic and just one question..where were the girl’s natural parents?

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