After A Mom Learned Her Son Was Being Bullied At School, She Took Him Out For A Fun Day—People Say She Just 'Avoided’ His Problems

She gave her son a much needed break from the chaos but people online are worried about the message she taught him.

A screenshot from Karen Johnson's Tik Tok of her responding to a reply, and a photo of a mother and son wearing sunglasses and smiling together. Tik Tok and Rohappy /

Bullying is not a new problem, it is a serious issue that has plagued students in schools for as long as schools have existed. This being the case, many districts don’t have a solid solution to the problem.

In response to what some parents see as inadequate support systems for their kids, many will eventually take matters into their own hands.

One mother did just this, by taking her son out of school for a day after learning he was being bullied.

In a TikTok that gained over 100k likes, Karen Johnson shared a video of her son playing outside and waiting to pick his brother up from the bus stop. In the caption of the video, she explained that yesterday, she had received a shocking call from the principal of her son’s school.


Apparently, a “large group of kids” had gotten together to take a survey to determine whether her son was gay.

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Johnson wrote: “After calming the mama bear inside me, I decided to keep him home from school today, and take him to Dave & Buster’s.” Her son’s younger brother was set to get home from school early that day, and so she gave him the choice to go without his brother or wait until he got home so they could all go together.


Not only did her son choose to include his younger brother, but he waited for over half an hour by the bus stop just so he could tell his brother about it as soon as possible.

The video quickly went viral, with a wide range of opinions popping up in the comments from other moms and caregivers. Many parents seemed to be cheering her on for giving her son a break from the chaos, while others offered advice on how to handle the situation.

One commenter suggested that she should reach out to the moms of the other kids. “As a mom of a bully… We want to know. We want to help. We are trying. And we are so sorry.”

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Others had much more critical things to say about Johnson’s decision.

One commenter berated her for letting her son return to school at all after learning about this. “I could never allow my kid to go to school and be bullied,” She wrote. “The damage it does is life long. Our job as parents is to protect our children.”

Johnson was, understandably, baffled by this response and made a follow up video replying to it.

“I don’t think keeping our kids from all situations that might hurt them is the answer,” She argued. “As a parent, no matter what you do, they’re gonna be in that situation at some point in their life. So you have to teach them how to deal with it. Right?”

Again, many comments agreed with her thinking, agreeing that, as unfortunate as it is for a kid to experience bullying, it is better for them to learn how to use their support systems young rather than being sheltered and needing to figure it out alone as an adult.


After all, bullying doesn’t always stop after turning 18 and leaving high school behind.

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This wasn’t the end of the debate, though.

In the comment section of her follow-up video, commenters argued that, while Johnson’s train of thought is fine, the way she went about it and let her son avoid the situation entirely was wrong.

“What are you teaching him exactly?” A commenter wrote, “Would you continue at a job with coworkers who were harassing you?” Another argued: “You kept him home from a situation though. He already learned it from you.”


Johnson replied in text that she was rewarding him for his response to the bullies, but the commenter didn’t back down. “He avoided the situation, no matter what you want to call it.” Johnson then took the time to film a full reply for the video, finally explaining the full context of the situation. 



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“My son’s been having some behavioral issues,” she explained. “And we’ve even had a meeting about it.”


She had received the call from the principal because her son had taken the initiative to tell the authorities about his situation, reporting everyone involved. Johnson explained that her choice to keep him home from school and take him on a fun day out “was a reward for responding appropriately rather than retaliating.”

There lies the point of the entire story. Johnson wasn’t ignorantly taking her son away from a situation to shelter him or to temporarily avoid a problem, she was rewarding him for his choice to stay calm in a stressful situation and bring it to the appropriate authorities.

Now that the situation has been reported, it can be investigated, stopped, and the bullies can be appropriately punished to avoid a repeat. That response has value! It isn’t easy to stay calm in something that is so emotionally charged and go to the right people. 

As unfortunate as it is that bullying continues to be a problem for kids to face, it is important for kids to be supported by their parents and to know the right ways to handle such things.


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Hawthorn Martin is a news and entertainment writer living in Texas. They focus on social justice, pop culture, and human interest stories.