What would you do if your child was being bullied, and her school or the bullies’ parents didn’t do anything about it?
For Jasper father Kris Beeby, the answer was to go and confront the bullies himself, a choice that’s landed him with an assault charge.
LISTEN: Kris Beeby explains why he confronted his daughter’s bullies
Beeby says his 12-year-old daughter along with some of her classmates has been bullied for years, but that the issue has escalated recently.
He says the day before the incident, he’d even been to school to discuss the issue with the principal – whom he says wasn’t doing anything about the issue.
But he says the breaking point was when he got access to a specific Instagram group in which his daughter was being attacked.
“The next morning I kind of figured out what KYS meant, and put two and two together that it meant kill yourself, and then it kind of all started coming together there and I so I just kind of thought to myself ‘enough is enough.'”
Beeby says he went down to the local arena, where he found one of the two boys behind the attacks and sat down with him.
“We had a conversation filled with colourful language, I asked him if we’d ever have to talk about it again, he said no, and I walked away.”
Shortly afterward, he ran into the other.
“I put my arm around him and I kind of ushered him through a door into another area, there was still people there, and ripped into him, you know, lyrically, and at the end of it I grabbed his jacket and said ‘Don’t ever make me come back here,'” he says.
“I asked him if he thought it was funny to tell a 12-year-old girl to kill herself or perform sexual acts on other people in her class, and things like that.”
Going too far?
Laying hands on the other boy led to the assault charge, and Beeby admits it might have been a mistake.
“Well, I guess I crossed the line I guess,” he says.
But he says he still feels like a parent is responsible for defending their child, particularly in a situation where he says none of the other parents had even been informed what their children were up to.
“How do you have no idea in this age what your 10, 11, 12-year-old child is doing on the internet is a whole different conversation. But to have never have been called, or reached out from the school? I mean, come on. What are you guys doing over there? You’re preaching anti-bully no bully zero tolerance, but here you are.”
Beeby says if his daughter was treating other kids the way she was being treated, he wouldn’t have a problem with another parent intervening.
As for the charge, Beeby says he thinks it’s an overreaction.
“At what point can you protect your child? When is it okay to stand up for your kid and protect her and show her that you not let anybody ever talk to her like that or treat her like that?”