Florida Dad forces son to wear a sign due to bad grades…does the punishment fit the crime?

Michael Bell Jr. received 3 Fs on his latest report card. His father Michael Bell Sr. forced his son to wear a sign that stated he had received 3Fs and stand at a busy intersection with that information on the sign. Bell Sr. says he is trying to keep his son from becoming a statistic. What do you think about the punishment did the father go too far?


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  • Carol  On March 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I think the father means well, but if he, the father, were to stand out there with his son while wearing a sign stating he is the father of a son who failed three classes, I would hope that the son would see his father will always be by his side, in good and bad, and hopefully motivate the son to embrace behavior which would allow his father to take pride in his son. Children want their parents’ approval and here is an opportunity to influence his son OVER AND ABOVE the son’s peers.

  • Catherine  On March 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    The father is frustrated but humiliation is never a motivator. Likely that son will be more resentful than thankful of his father. Compliance is NOT cooperation. This kid will be on his own in 5 years or less. Will he have had the experience of making decisions for himself or will all his decisions have been forced upon him so he’s starting from ground zero. I know a father that calls the police when his son will not obey him. A bully enlisting public servants to do his bullying. Father says “everyone tells me I did the right thing”– but who’s relationship is most important– the onlookers or his son? His son does not talk to him and runs away from home. I agree with Carol above– if the father has the INFLUENCE to get his son to wear a sign on a street corner, than he can use that influence to help the son succeed– not bully him.

  • Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209  On March 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I’m not really qualified on this issue. Our kids earned good grades.

    I received one F in Latin, not because I earned it, but because I was cable of A work and did C work for one six week period. At least the teacher told me the truth. ☺Got my attention.☺

    I opine in this case that the most important element is the relationship between the father and son BEFORE the F grades and after.

    The son admits to goofing off.

    I ♥ Carol’s March 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm UCT idea where Dad remains in the loop.

    Son and Dad with a modified sign stating three Fs is an error and that they will work as a team with Dad’s support to correct the error could be a WIN-WIN for dad and son.

  • Mo Rage  On March 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Not only does it seem appropriate to me but shame, actually, can, in fact, serve as a motivator to make change. Humiliation may not be a motivator but for the right person and situation, it could work. Hopefully the father knows his son, the situation and the son’s capabilities and was appropriate.

    It does depend on the situation and the student but if he’s capable of even C’s, let alone more, it may serve the purpose. It may not, too. Again, it depends on the child. I hope, frankly, it helps and that it wasn’t just a negative event for the student.

    If the father would do this to him, I hope he tried to sit down with him, in the past, and help and motivate him positvely first.

    • Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209  On March 14, 2012 at 2:06 am

      ☺ Nice write ☺

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