By Caitlin O'Kane CBS News November 26, 2018, 11:36 AM Dad confronts son's bully and learns he's struggling, too – so he helped the boy, and a friendship was born
When a Houston dad found out his 8-year-old son was being bullied, he didn't get mad at the classmate picking on him. Instead, he talked with the so-called bully and realized that boy was struggling, too.
Aubrey Fontenot's son, Jordan, told him a boy named Tamarion was picking on him. Fontenot decided to sit down with his son and Tamarion to get to the bottom of what was going on, and something unexpected happened.
Tamarion told Fontenot he was being picked on at school, too. "I was like, 'By who? You're big. You're huge. Who's picking on you?'" the father told CBS Houston station KHOU. "He's like, 'Just all the other kids, man. They're making fun of me.'"
Fontenot learned that Tamarion was getting picked on for his clothes and shoes – he didn't have much, and the other kids noticed.
Fontenot then spoke to the boy's mother. "She like kind of confirmed it," Fontenot said. "And was like, 'That's kind of the situation.'"
He felt sympathetic for the young boy and wanted to help. So he asked Tamarion's mom if he could take her son shopping.
Fontenot posted videos of their trip to the mall on social media and they went viral. Tamarion eventually cracked a smile, and then the two were laughing and sining together on their shopping trip. As if he were taking his own son shopping, Fontenot got Tamarion new clothes and shoes, and shared words of wisdom with him.
Then, the dad united the two boys. He told KHOU it was awkward at first – just a day earlier, they didn't get along at school. But the two classmates started playing video games together and soon became friends.
It wasn't just about the clothes and shoes. Tamarion gained a friend in Jordan, and a mentor in his dad. Fontenot said he was also bullied when he was a child, so he knew it was important to listen to Tamarion's story.
He chose kindness instead of anger and brought the two boys together. "I wouldn't say that was the goal, but that was the reward," Fontenot told KHOU.