"Cyber shaming" is the latest trend in which parents discipline their children by posting footage of their punishments on the internet. Perhaps the most popular form of punisrnent is "the George Jefferson" haircut pictured below.
Recently I read an article in which yet another opinionated stranger has the nerve to say that there was no difference between "cyber discipline" and "cyber bullying"! Talk about overrating. Does every child deserve to be embarrassed in this way? Absolutely not. But there are certainly some instances in which embarrassment is certainly appropriate and hopefully effective. Such as the following.
a 12-year-old boy named Terrence, who came home smelling like marijuana, got a “George Jefferson” haircut from his stepmom. To make matters worse, the stepmom, Aaliyah Hines, found out that he also failed the seventh grade and will have to repeat it next year. In the caption for the video that was posted to Hines’ Facebook page, she said she’s selling his Jordans. He also won’t be sleeping in his new bed, he’s going to summer school and she’s sending him to stay with her mom. Oh, and she promised to give him that George Jefferson haircut again the following week. Of course Hines could have chosen a different punishment that would have been a little less harsh. But her form of punishment pales in comparison to the punishment he would have received from law enforcement had he been caught with marijuana.
The author of the article in The Root.com writes:
"What I take issue with is the “whole world” knowing about it. It’s one thing to screw up and be punished, even embarrassed, but it’s quite another to know that there is an everlasting video telling millions of people what you’ve done, and one that they’ll be able to pull up anytime".
When the author fails to realize is that having a criminal record is also something that the "whole world" could no about. Especially those in it who would be responsible for hiring young Terrence a few years from now. Furthermore, a criminal record is just as "everlasting" and far more damaging than any video.
The decision must be made. Are we going to discipline our children or allow the criminal justice system discipline our children?