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11-year-old Bully Forced to Wear Thrift Store Clothes as Punishment

By Real Talk @talkrealdebate2012

clothes11-year-old Kaylee Lindstrom was forced to wear thrift store clothing as punishment from her parents.  Her step-mother was distraught upon learning from school officials that her step-daughter was bullying a classmate who wore clothes from a thrift store.  Kaylee would bully her classmate by telling her that she is “ugly” and that she dressed “sleazy.”

Kaylee’s bullying did not subside after a stern lecture from her parents.  Her step-mother decided to take a different approach.  The pair drove to a local thrift store shop.  There Kaylee picked what she thought were the “ugliest” clothes she could find.  What she didn’t know was that she in fact was picking out her school outfits for the next two days.

Kaylee said she was surprisingly teased by her classmates.  She didn’t understand why she was unfairly picked on.  She quickly understood her error and apologized to the other girl.  The two girls now are friends.

Kaylee’s step-mother argues that she thought that the new-found empathy would be the best solution.  I think empathy would solve many of our issues.

Some psychologists and parents have criticized the approach.  They think humiliating a child to prove a point doesn’t do much to build their self-confidence.  I happen to disagree.  I think this was a creative and great way of approaching this serious problem.  Bullying is serious problem in this country.  I’ve chronicled the recent tragic suicides of Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons due to vicious bullying.

It is easy to judge, but not to live.  Today’s school environment is radically different from even ten years ago.  Social media, smartphones and viral videos have forever altered the dynamic of school life.  I think the only way Kaylee would understand what she did was wrong is if she herself felt the unfair criticism.  It might seem a bit harsh, but I think her attitude was worse.

I think many children, and adults, put much too high a credence on wearing expensive clothing.  They care way too much on the brand name.  To me clothing is clothing.  As long as you like what you are wearing who really cares what others think.  I am much happier buying a shirt from TJ Maxx for $10 than a $50 shirt from Nordstrom’s.  But you know I’m weird like that.

What do you think?

Do you like how Kaylee’s step-mother “handled” the situation?

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Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate

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