A mother of six wanted to know if the family was wrong to punish their son for losing his temper over his sibling’s racist remarks.
A family was struggling to educate their teenage daughter, Gianna (16), to respect people from different cultures. The family received a call from Gianna’s choir teacher reporting that Gianna and some classmates had made racist jokes about the pieces she shared, including some Honduran and Urdu music.
The parents talked with their daughter at home about the issue. They made her write an apology and essay on why it is important to respect music from other cultures.
To try and help Gianna further understand, the family allowed Ryker (13), their son, to invite his friend from Honduras over with his parents to talk about sports and music of that culture. Gianna’s parent noted that she was “clearly not enjoying it.”
Despite their efforts to educate Gianna, the family faced a new challenge when they found out she got in trouble again for making racist jokes with her boyfriend and a group of friends. They took her phone to investigate “where this hatred could be coming from.”
Ryker had his friends over for a sleepover the night they learned about the racist remarks. At dinner, the boys talked about how their coach wouldn’t let them get away with bullying or making racist jokes. The parents tried to guide them through their feelings.
At the mall that same night, Gianna was shopping for an upcoming dance with her friends. The parents had bought her dress a few weeks ago. Unbeknownst to her, Ryker and his friends had used this opportunity to vandalize the dress by throwing drinks and mud at it and even cutting holes in it.
When Gianna came home and saw the dress, Ryker and his friends laughed, saying they did it because she didn’t deserve to go to the banquet due to her wicked behavior.
When the family heard about this, they told Ryker that they were trying their best to educate Gianna and explained that this was the wrong way to take out his anger. As a result, they prohibited him from attending his upcoming 7th-grade dance.
However, some of the parents’ siblings and relatives called to defend Ryker’s actions, saying he was just a kid trying to cope with anger. Now, the family is unsure if they have done right in this situation and are seeking advice on whether or not they are “in the wrong.”
Reactions on Social Media
The consensus on Reddit was that the family was wrong. One user commented with 45,500 upvotes: “You’re the a***ole (YTA). I don’t understand how destroying a dress comes with a bigger punishment than getting in trouble for racism… Twice. What he did was wrong, but the fact that your daughter is still getting to go to her dance and out with friends also seems like the wrong response. I can understand why he is angry.”
The users questioned what Gianna’s punishment was. “Is Gianna allowed to her dance? Because, to be honest, it doesn’t really sound like any of her punishments have been ‘punishments.'” The response received 7,900 upvotes.
“You’re educating Gianna for repeated sh***y behavior but not punishing her. You’re punishing Ryker without educating him about appropriate anger expression. Get it together.” The popular opinion received over 6,700 upvotes.
His punishment does seem more severe than hers given that she is a repeat offender and he is reacting to racism in his own home,” one person admitted, with 14,500 upvotes in agreement. “Why is she still allowed to go to her dance, given her behavior? You’re educating her without any serious consequences, but you’re punishing him without any real education.”
How It Ended
I get it; my husband and I were in the wrong.
The couple took heed of the advice and discussed the punishments with both Ryker and Gianna. They acknowledged that they had held Ryker to a higher standard because of his achievements and apologized for this.
In the end, Ryker was allowed to attend the dance and buy something with his hard-earned money from gold caddying and wouldn’t have to pay back for the dress.
Gianna was told she was not attending the junior banquet and had to read and write a report on two books about racism. In addition, she was not allowed to use her electronic devices, except her school laptop, until further notice.
The couple was also looking into various therapies, such as family or individual therapy for Gianna, possibly Ryker, and their other children.
Finally, they discussed how Ryker could channel his desire for social justice into sports. This was the conclusion of their family meeting and a start to a more peaceful future.
This article Parents Disciplined Their Son For Losing His Temper Over His Sibling’s Racist Remarks was produced by TPR Teaching. Source.
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.