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Dad Wonders If He's Wrong For Cornering Son's Bully To Air His 'Pent-Up Frustrations' A Year After She Stops Bullying

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dad confronting a bully

When a dad on Reddit found out his son was being bullied, he took matters into his own hands and dealt with the bully directly.

Many of us can probably imagine doing the exact same thing for a kid we love who's being bullied. But in this case, there was one problem: the bullying had already stopped a long time ago.

The dad confronted his son's bully even though the situation had already been rectified more than a year ago.

In the Reddit post, the man calls his son "mine and my wife's pride and joy." As they come from different a country they were eager to raise their son with an appreciation for their culture, so they enrolled him in a language school so he will be fluent in their native language. There was just one problem — a group of girls at the language school began bullying their nine-year-old son straightaway.

Photo: Reddit

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A group of kids at the language school began making fun of his son's hair.

"Sam has a buzz cut and they kept calling him 'hedgehog,' knowing it hurt Sam's feelings," the dad writes. "One thing about Sam is that he's academically smart for his age, and tends to be a show-off," the dad went on to say. "As a result, some kids don't like him. I just think it's jealousy."

He adds that Sam has a tendency to "act immature," and that he often struggles when it comes to socializing with other kids. Still, the dad says, "it is absolutely unacceptable for other kids to bully him." Few would disagree, and when the bullying continued escalating, the man's wife confronted the main bully, a girl named Ana, and her friends to ask them to stop.

The girls understood and agreed to stop calling Sam "hedgehog." But the dad still harbors anger toward her for coming up with "such a degrading name for my son." So much so that when he saw Ana recently at the language school, he took the opportunity to confront her all over again.

The dad cornered the "little brat" and confronted her about his "pent-up frustrations."

"I know my wife confronted her last year, but I felt like she deserved more from me," he writes, "so I walked up to her and confronted her about what she put my son through." If that sounds inappropriate to you, buckle up because it gets worse. "I told her that she's a mean-spirited person and that everyone knows her nature." 

When the girl protested that she and her friends had already stopped teasing Sam, he doubled down — and predictably, Ana's parents were furious. He writes that they "chased me down" and "said that they're sorry their daughter taunted my son, but that case was closed a year ago."

They also told him it was "inappropriate" for him to corner and confront Ana. He countered by asking "how would you feel?" but they were unmoved, telling him that while his wife handled the situation correctly, he was way out of line. 

Even his wife firmly agreed, telling him his confrontation was "unnecessary," but he is still standing his ground. "I felt like Ana deserved to hear everything I said to her," he writes. "She called my son a 'hedgehog' for over a year, she can see how it feels to be called 'mean-spirited' one time."

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People on Reddit thought the dad's confrontation was wildly inappropriate.

There's no denying that bullying is a deeply serious matter. According to the Centers for Disease Control, children who are bullied have the highest rates of negative mental health outcomes, including conditions like anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. Bullying should be taken seriously, but as the video below details, there are far better ways to deal with bullying than those this dad chose.

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On Reddit, readers were particularly put off by the fact that the dad, a grown man, chose to corner Ana, a tween girl, all by herself in order to confront her. One Redditor called the action "creepy" and others were downright disturbed by the incident.

Photo: Reddit

Others felt the dad's actions were particularly uncalled for given that "hedgehog" is pretty tame as bullying goes. It's not hard to imagine the name even being an affectionate nickname about his hair, which made the dad's response seem all the more over the top to many people reading his story.

Photo: Reddit

All in all, many felt the dad was lucky he got off with just a bit of verbal back-and-forth with Ana's parents. As one person put it, had it been their kid the dad confronted, "I would have lit this dude's a-s up." They went on to recommend the dad "let it go" and "get over himself." Seems like pretty solid advice.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.