Is the Mom in This ‘Tough Love’ Story Right or Wrong?

Little Rock, AR–Kelly, a reader, sent me the interesting story below, noting “Here a mom used tough love like a dad, and people are second guessing her.” What do you think? The story is below.

Public Punishment for Boy Accused of Bullying

You may have seen 12-year-old Montavious Lewis outside Saturday wearing a sandwich board. His mom made him stand near the street for bullying a classmate over an i-Pod. The poster board punishment was a surprise for Montavious Saturday morning, right down to the detail of a hat with the letter “d” on it for dumb.

Early tears turned to boredom. As mom worked, Montavious wore his public punishment. But the bell ringing was less than enthusiastic as Montavious thought about why he was out there.

“We got into an argument, and then that’s when I robbed him,” says Lewis.

“He’s very embarrassed. And I told him, I said the way you feeling right now, I’m embarrassed, too,” says Bertreice Dixon.

Around three in the afternoon, Dixon decided to move the punishment to Broadway so even more people could read the poster boards. People like retired principal Max Dearing thinks more parents need to do this. “I asked him a while ago if he thought this was gonna teach him a lesson and he said yes sir, so I hope he’s not pulling my leg,” says Dearing.

Bertreice hopes he’s not either. “By, you know, be tough in front of his friends, and like I told him, you gonna have to change your ways or else you’re gonna go down a road where you gonna end up in prison or dead,” explains Dixon.

“I apologized for what I did,” says Lewis.

“This, right here, is showing him how much I love him, and hopefully he’ll take it into consideration and don’t do it again,” says Dixon.

Montavious admits to everything. The school’s making him cut the grass this summer and he says he did it because he doesn’t have an I-pod, and he wants one.

Bertreice says she didn’t get any negative feedback Saturday from anyone.

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