A dad banned his 18-year-old daughter from social media, homecoming, and prom after learning she bullied a classmate. Now he’s asking the internet: did he go too far?
When a parent does their best to raise a kid to be kind and empathetic—just a good human—there may be nothing more heartbreaking than learning that they’ve chosen to engage in behavior that’s cruel toward others. That’s what one dad who’s taken to Reddit’s “Am I the A**hole” forum is dealing with; he asked if he went too far in punishing his teenage daughter after learning she was a bully to one of her classmates.
“Yesterday I was informed that my daughter Sam was a part of a group of students who bullied another girl to the point that she had to switch schools. There was a racial aspect to the bullying, which came as a complete shock since my wife and I truly did our best to raise our 3 kids to be kind and honest individuals,” he wrote. “I don’t believe that a grounding and a confiscation of electronics is harsh enough for what Sam did, so I told Sam that she won’t be allowed to participate in homecoming or attend senior prom. I also told her that she won’t be getting a car for her 18th birthday either. Finally, I told her that she’ll have to delete all of her social media accounts with either me or her mother watching.”
AITA for making my daughter miss once-in-a-lifetime events (homecoming and senior prom) and delete all of her social media as punishment for bullying?
by u/ventura4433 in AmItheAsshole
The dad continued, “Sam begged me to allow her to go to senior prom because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, and keep just her Instagram account because it had pictures going back years that weren’t saved anywhere else. I told her that she shouldn’t have been a racist bully. My parents are temporarily staying with us while their house is undergoing renovations. They agree that what Sam did was completely out of line and must be punished, but they think that making my daughter miss homecoming and senior prom and forcing her to delete her social media is far far too harsh.”
Ugh. This is such a tough read.
The top comment delivers the verdict that Dad is not the a**hole, along with some advice.
“This seems appropriate to the level of offense here, especially the deletion of social media accounts,” it reads. “That said, there’s a chance to teach the idea of repentance and redemption. Assuming you are in the US or Canada (I don’t think homecoming is a thing elsewhere so I feel good about that assumption), the school year is just about to start and prom isn’t until late April/early May. Create a plan of restorative actions she can take to earn back prom. These actions can include volunteer service, cultural sensitivity classes, and (if possible) something that can positively impact the girl she bullied. Also, giving her something to earn back like that lets her have a positive focus for the year. What she did was very wrong, and needs to have consequences, but it can be an important learning opportunity too. Good luck.”
Related: How I’m Raising My Daughter to Be Anything but a Mean Girl
Another popular comment supports the Dad’s decision and adds, “The person she bullied has also missed lifetime events – having a trauma-free school life for one. That trumps going to prom or homecoming for me.”
The final verdict, after voting by commenters, was that Dad is not the jerk in this situation, and we have to agree. His daughter is 18 and about to start making her own way in the world. This could be her last chance to learn a hard lesson about her racist actions, and it’s not the time for him to take it easy on her.