WATCH: To Stop His Son From Bullying, Father Comes Up With Ultimate Punishment

kcentv.com – KCEN HD – Waco, Temple, and Killeen

When efforts to curb his son’s bullying behavior proved fruitless, a Texas man doled out a bit of tough love, forcing his progeny to stand on the curb of a busy street holding a sign that read: “I am a bully. Honk if you hate bullies.”

Joe Lagares of Killeen was criticized by some, praised by even more for his unusual parenting methods, but he takes bullying very seriously and wanted his 4th grader to take it seriously as well, hence why he posted his son on the corner of Ft. Hood Street and W. Veterans Memorial Boulevard with a big neon sign on Tuesday.

“Bullying is also a form of public humiliation. Maybe he understands that when he humiliates someone publicly that doesn’t feel good,” Lagares told KCEN TV. “Hopefully he’ll take that with him so the next time he tries to bully someone he’ll think about it twice.”

Lagares had previously tried other forms of punishment, including grounding and hard labor, but this one finally seems to have stuck. When Lagares’s son returned to school on Wednesday, he apologized to the kid he had been bullying, of his own accord.

Some, however, questioned the father’s public shaming of his son — even though, if you ask us, it sounds like something right out of the Bible. Of course Abraham never made Isaac admit to being an asshole, but then again Jose Lagares didn’t try to kill his son in the name of the Lord. Either way, Lagares, brushed off the criticism, and returned to the same corner on Wednesday with a neon sign of his own: “I’m not sorry. Honk to stop bullying.”

“I refuse to allow my child to be somebody else’s pain. Ya know, we don’t need another Columbine, and we don’t need another Solomon Harris,” Lagares said, referring to the gay teen who took his own life back in April after being bullied by his peers. “Ya know, we don’t need that to happen, and I refuse for my child to be the cause of that.”

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  • marc sfe

    I applaud this father and his creative parenting. It’s called tough love. It would appear he never hit his child, beat his child or any sort of physical corporal punishment; other than hard labor (and hard work never hurt anyone). It would appear his son learned a valuable lesson.

  • TheNewEnergyDude


  • 2eo

    He’s a bully, but he’s a christian and its fine when they do it in the eyes of most christians. Obviously.

  • StephK

    I have mixed feelings about Dad’s method,but the sooner he took care of this, the less likely his son would have another victim. Kudos to any parent who takes their child’s bullying as seriously as this dad does.

  • averageguy40

    @ 2eo, way to jump to conclusions…

  • 2eo

    @averageguy40: It isn’t a conclusion when there’s a millennia of evidence.

  • iMort

    Shaming a child? You people really applaud that sort of thing? Let me play devils advocate here and put the shoe on your foot. Your parents make you wear a sign. My sons a F*g. Or how about My son is a snarky nellie queen. Shame will and does cause anger and resentment. This is poor parenting at best. My dad tried to beat and shame the gay out of me. Guess what? I am still GAY.

  • 2eo

    @iMort: What a moronic thing to say.

    What if you made your child wear a sign that read “Stalin was kind of okay I guess, honk if you hate the Bourgeoisie” or “I said Tomato instead of Tomato” or “I like the new series of Transformers better than the old one”.

    What if it was a sandwich board, is it literally the same as the holocaust?

  • avesraggiana

    Shaming a child publicly, when done judiciously, is an effective disciplinary method. Children’s psyches are more resilient than today’s parents think. Instead of always being told how wonderful they are for just showing up, or being told how special they are for just being, children could stand to be challenged in their sense of self, and be made to confront the fact that not everything they do is going to meet with unwarranted, overwhelming approval.

    What this father did was exactly right. It is a good way to remind parents and children alike that children are to be raised to be members of the family, NOT The centre of it.

  • avesraggiana

    At the very least, the child’s attention has now been put on his deplorable behaviour, which is the point of all disciplinary measures. Discipline is not meant to harm a child, but to teach them. Some methods are more immediate and more effective than others.

  • RSun

    I applaud the father’s technique. Appropriate and effective.

  • EdgarCarpenter

    Kids’ brains are not the same as adult brains – brain development continues into our early 20’s. Sometimes logic, reason, etc don’t make any sense to a kid, and you have to resort to training rather than educating. This sounds like it was an effective training technique, which gave the kid an experience and linked it to the same experience in his victims. Sounds like he finally understood what he’d been doing to other people, and why bullying was bad.

    The public humiliation he got was the same as the public humiliation he’d been inflicting on other kids, and appropriately contextualized by his dad. It wasn’t at all like humiliating someone because they’re gay, @Imort – you missed the point completely.

  • iMort

    ( CaptainFabulous) Yes a moron who just happens to be a Sociocultural Anthropologist. You have children I assume. So you are an authority on parenting. I am so glad that you queers are so adept at raising children and know what is best for them. Your total lack of compassion and your attack on me, speaks volumes about your character.

  • nokkonwud

    @iMort: “…you queers…”? That does sound moronic.

  • CaptainFabulous

    @iMort: Nope, not an authority on parenting, just stupidity.

  • iMort

    It would be incorrect to refer to you as gay. You are the most humorless bunch of folks that I have ever seen on a web-site. Just because I do not rally to your side and totally agree with you I am attacked and ridiculed. At no point did I defend the act of a bully I only questioned the wisdom of publicly shaming a young person who has obvious behavioral issues. So piss off you bloody wankers LOL

  • 2eo


    Pull the other one mate.

  • TheNewEnergyDude

    @iMort: Wow…where do I *start*?

    Okay…first, I was going to respond to your initial post and give my sincerest condolences for…trying to have the gay beaten out of you, and try to point out that there is no shame in being gay at all, so there would be the difference.

    *Then* I saw your post about accusing someone of *calling* you a moron, when they simply pointed out that *what you said* sounded moronic. BIG difference…and then hearing you go off about people attacking you, and then you go ahead and attack *everyone else’s* character because of your kneejerk mis-assumptions.

    And then I read your schizophrenic post…which leads me to believe your first assumption about yourself is correct. You *are* a moron. And need therapy.

  • Gordon

    Bravo, Pop! You rock. They should clone you!

  • Sammy Schlipshit

    While being quite dramatic, maybe the dad did the right thing….I will not judge him. Sure beats any corporal actions. The grounding and forced labor didn’t seem to work. I applaud the dad for not giving up….or becoming a bully to his kid through degrading words.

    For me, the biggest takeaway is why does the kid bully anyone? Why is he seemingly filled with so much rage, anger and arrogance?

    I think the root of why the kid bullies at all is very important to resolve.

  • Tone

    I’ll never agree that shame is a good way to teach a child right from wrong. It is toxic parenting. He would learn well enough if he was made to hear from the people he hurt how it affected them. And he should be made to write an essay on bullying, including the reasons why people bully, and the harm it causes the victims. After doing all that if he does not feel any need to make amends to the people he hurt then he needs a good therapist because something just isn’t right.

    But making a kid stand on the side of the road to be humiliated? No way no how not ever.

    *eye roll* Texas

  • Gordon

    @Sammy Schlipshit: You hit the nail on the head. Almost like curing a symptom and not getting close to the disease.

  • LadyLady

    Maybe if more parents would take it to this degree when they see their children starting to spin out of control, we would be able to curb it far more. Kudos to Dad. I am sure his son now gets the picture.

  • Gordon

    I am sure that the old line from Gilbert and Sullivan works here: Let the punishment fit the crime! You think? Bravo, dad!

  • ChiChi Man

    It may have been wiser to simply to have the child hold up a sign that read: Honk if you hate bullies. Then the child would get positive feedback and encouragement for NOT being a bully. But public shaming? Not a fan.

  • Jeremi

    @Tone: I’m not generally a fan of shame as a form of punishment either. Hell I had it imposed on me enough as a kid (and as a young adult) when I had a personal belief and standpoint that differed from my mother’s that it made it hard to be my own person, so I understand that it can be misused. But in this case I believe it was fitting, making his son walk in the other kid’s shoes.

    He tried alternative methods of punishment and tried to link them to the situation, but those methods weren’t effective. Grounding and labor (probably being forced to do extra chores) were ineffective, likely just made him angry. I like the essay idea if the kid were in middle/high school and had the capability to research why people bully. But as a 4th grader (9 to 10 yrs old) he’s still focusing on sentence structure and applying that to journaling, let alone doing full-on research for a topic.

    Hearing from the kid how that makes him feel would be ideal, but depending on the level of bullying that kid made be unable to voice his feelings. But being made to feel that same experience, at least in some sense, the kid gets it. It’s not like his dad just put him out there and yelled at him, his dad really used that as a teaching moment, which his son responded well to, even apologizing to the kid of his own accord.

    Some kids who bully or who are bullied definitely need therapy, especially if there’s a deep-seeded reason for the bullying such as the child being bullied at home, witnessing bullying in the relationship between parents, etc. But there are other variables that need to be considered, such as peer involvement. Is the man’s son the only bully involved? If so, then there’s some insecurity, bad habits, or faulty training he picked up somewhere and a definite need to investigate why he started bullying. Did he bully as part of a group? If so then it’s more likely there is an incrowd-outcrowd element going on (yes it starts that early) and if so then the school itself needs to learn from this example.

    And while not for the same reason I’ll give you the Texas eyeroll. I’ve lived here for the past 5 years while doing my masters in psychology and have seen good (Cypress Ranch high’s anti-bullying campaign) and bad in this respect (working with kids who have had negative experiences with old-fashioned small-town mindsets).

  • iMort

    @Tone: Thank you I tried to make that point however I lack your eloquence and am called a moron @TheNewEnergyDude: I was called a F**king moron when only expressing my opinion. Which in the first was entirely valid from my perspective.

  • dbmyers

    @EdgarCarpenter: Well said and to the point!

  • dbmyers

    @iMort: Speaking of “speaking volumes”. You just dumped a huge pile of information about your character. LOL You assume anyone who challenges what you say here is gay? You do know that there are straight people (who comment here too) who support GLBTQ persons’ fight for the very same universal human rights that everyone else are entitled to, don’t you?

    And you call them “queers”. “You must have walked in, stranger, lookin’ for trouble”? Well, I guess you must be a troll then. You know what we do with trolls around here? We starve them! “Don’t feed the trolls folks. It just confuses them and makes them think they’re important and smart!” Pathetic actually.

  • 2eo

    @iMort: You have the right to an opinion, we have the right to rip it to pieces on the grounds it is idiotic.

  • CeciliaRooney

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    From a NEW YORK grandfather, ‘THANK’s for stepping up to the plate!

  • iMort

    @2eo: I’ve been out since 1975 I was on the front lines of the gay rights movement. I was there the day Harvey Milk was slain in cold blood. I am not a troll. Just another person who will respond when attacked. Would you feel the same about public shame if the issue were anything other than being a bully? THAT was my point. If your father made you wear a sign that said, My son is a bloody flipping poof. I stand by my idea that publicly shaming anyone for any reason is wrong. Respond with a intelligent reason why I am wrong rather than calling me a moron or an idiot. Or a troll.

  • CaptainFabulous

    @iMort: Because it depends upon the intent and the reason. There is a huge difference between trying to teach your son that being a bully is wrong (an aberrant behavior), it’s another for trying to shame them for being gay (something they cannot control).

    It’s like grounding your child. It’s one thing to take away the TV, computer, video games, and confine them to their room; that’s fine. But chaining them to a radiator to prevent them from leaving the house is NOT fine. There is a right way, and a wrong way. There are good reasons, and there are bad reasons.

    So sometimes, when done right, a little public humiliation is a good thing. This is one of those times. The child learned a lesson, and I’m sure he’s not going to be scarred for life by it.

  • iMort

    @CaptainFabulous: Thank you. A far cry from calling me a F**king moron. Perhaps I had a knee jerk reaction. I am open to change my view given reasonable discourse to do so. You make a very compelling point. What do we know of this child? Pardon me but it is Texas after all LOL. I regret to say that most of my family comes from Oklahoma. OUCH! Try being gay in a world of butt scratching tobacco chewing rednecks who had wished that they had killed you at birth. This is no defense of course. Growing up and being very fae was not easy. I had more than my share of bullies. To me. A wolf is always a wolf no matter how you try to train it. I can only hope that this kid does not end up in a tower with an automatic rifle.

  • iMort

    @2eo: You are a right little git. In another world I would have called you friend. I forgot that you always know everything about everyone. All the time.

  • iMort

    @dbmyers: I am a FAERIE not a troll. I pray the Goddess change your diaper and take the thumb from your mouth.

  • CaptainFabulous

    @iMort: Well I don’t know the kid personally, but according to the article the father tried other methods that did not work, but this did. The child was remorseful and apologetic afterwards, not defiant. The father was also there with him during the event so it’s not like he was left all alone, which could possibly be quite scary for a young child. Maybe if he were older is wouldn’t have worked so well. Not so sure what the father would have done at that point.

    Another reason why bullying needs to be addressed at a young age, to reinforce to kids under 10 that it’s not acceptable, because it’s much more difficult to get the point across once they are teens.

  • iMort

    @CaptainFabulous: I agree, point well taken. I fear this may be the exception to the rule.

  • iMort

    @TheNewEnergyDude: Thank you. As a qualified mental health professional, which I assume you are. I am grateful for the diagnosis. Now i can truly address the issues that have plagued me all of my life. The one thing being, that how so many gay men can be so hateful and cruel to those who are above all others true family. Yes. I am old. Yet in my day we had a sense of humor. Horse play was clever and funny. Not evil and cruel. Brash mean and stupid. What can i say to a child who cannot understand? Mommy loves you now grow up ? New energy? Nothing is new ever. It has all been done over and over again. New to you. Old to me.

  • 2eo

    @iMort: And?, does being there make what you think about this issue relevant?, I was in Hong Kong the day we handed it back to China, does that mean I can discuss the finer points of Backgammon?

    When a view is idiotic and ill informed it deserves calling out as such.

  • iMort

    @2eo: So we can agree to disagree.

Comments are closed.