Most all parents have an instinctive nature to protect their child.
Debbie Piscitella took the act of protecting her daughter too far when she allegedly choked the girl's bully during an encounter in a local mall, according to the Huffington Post. The bully, whose name has not been released, allegedly made fun of the girl's weight on facebook, and said she "didn’t deserve to live," among other cruel things, according to ABC.
During a segment on Good Morning America, Piscitella, who was arrested for child abuse after allegedly attacking the 14-year old boy, stated that she "lost it" and does regret her actions.
The question here is, what does protection mean? It is agreed that name-calling is a form of bullying, but does that act hold more weight if it is done online, through a social networking site? Is cyber-bullying worse than old-fashioned name-calling?
I'll be the first to say that I abhor the acts of any bully. Any and all aggressive and abusive behaviors by kids, toward their peers, should be addressed immediately and with stern distinction that those acts will not be tolerated.
During her interview, Piscitella mentioned her daughter being tormented to the point of wanting to hurt herself. I understand her concern and desire to stop any acts towards her daughter that have such a negative impact, but Piscitella's approach in the matter was all wrong.
While it is reported that she did try to reach out to the school and police for help, to no avail, not once did she try and contact the boy's parents.
Just because a child is behaving poorly and making choices that are negatively affecting another, that does not nececessarily mean that their parents would exhibit the same behavior. I only hope that another parent would let me know if either of my children is behaving inappropriately.
In a separate news report, the mother of the boy who was allegedly choked by Piscitella states that she wishes Piscitella would have gone to her about the matter so that she could have corrected her son's behavior.
That would be my first step in addressing such a problem between kids. As parents we need to teach our children, by example, how to deal with such situations. While Piscitella's intent was to protect her daughter, which I empathize with, she failed to do so in the right manner.
Her alleged act not only taught her daughter to act out in violence and anger, but put her through the traumatic experience of having her mom arrested.
At no point did the boy get physical with Pisitella's daughter. The possible physical danger in the child wanting to hurt herself should have been addressed through counseling, yet another instance in this situation where mom dropped the ball.