NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

November 21, 2013

Parents make son wear sign identifying him as a bully

by David Burcham
CNHI News Service

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Sometimes learning lessons the hard way turns out to be the best way.

That's what mother Amber Carey and stepfather Felix Mayle are hoping after choosing a public punishment for their son.

Twelve-year-old Gage Duncan, a sixth grader at George Washington Intermediate School, has been suspended from school twice this year for bullying younger children.

"We've tried talking to him about it and grounding him, but nothing was working," said Carey of her oldest child’s penchant for picking on others.

So they decided Gage should stand at various locations around town while wearing a sign that identified him as a bully. Amber made the sign. The couple and their two younger children parked their SUV nearby at each location, which included the bus stop before and after school and some other high visibility areas.

"Too often we see children taking their own lives due to bullying and we refuse to allow our son to take part in that," Amber said. "If more parents would get involved, together we can instill morals and respect into the generation we created and prevent more of situations from reoccurring."

However, not everyone saw it that way yesterday.

Amber said a few passersby called police for what they perceived to be child abuse.

Amber said police came, looked at the sign and spoke with her and Felix before allowing it to continue.

Some passersby stopped and offered their support to the parents.

Gage admitted that the display "was a little embarrassing" and that he was learning that "it's not right to pick on other kids."

David Burcham writes for The New Castle (Pa.) News.