One Utah woman was notified by a teacher that her 10-year-old step-daughter Kaylee was relentlessly bullying another student for the way she dressed, and devised a clever punishment to teach empathy and nip the bully in the bud.
“She would take her out on the playground and call her names, and tell her she was a slob and tell her she dressed like a sleaze,” Ally, whose last name was omitted to protect her daughter's privacy, told Fox13. “Someone not wanting to go to school anymore based off of something that one other little person said to them. I mean, that’s huge, that’s damaging.”
But when Ally addressed the issue, Kaylee did not show any remorse for what she had done. So she went to a local thrift shop and bought about $50 worth of clothes she knew Kaylee would never want to wear.
When Kaylee woke up to find the outfit she was ordered to wear to school, she says, “I died. I did." She admits she cried when she had to wear the clothes, and became the target of insults at school.
After two days wearing the embarrassing clothes and being talked about behind her back, Kaylee said she understands the lesson. When her sister asked why she should not bully people, Kaylee replied, “Because it’s stupid and it’s mean. It hurts them.”
Dr. Douglas Goldsmith of the Children’s Center said that while Kaylee may have learned an important lesson, not all bullies would respond the same way to forced humiliation, becoming more angry instead of having a change of heart.
Goldsmith suggested the parents of some bullies take them to volunteer where there are poorer people to teach them empathy indirectly.