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6-Year-Old Boy Stands On Street Corner With Sign As Public Punishment


COLLEGE STATION, Texas Public punishments are becoming a popular tactic for some parents trying to manage their kids behavior including here in College Station.

A mother made her son stand along a busy street this week holding a sign saying he had been bad in school.

But was it the right move?

News 3 sat down with the mom and a psychologist to get their take on public punishment.

6-year-old J'Varion Wells was forced to stand along Southwest Parkway in College Station, at rush hour, holding a sign for two hours.

His mom, Erica Dunn, says the first grader stole a book from the school library and this was his punishment.

"I've been trying to think of different remedies to discipline him without hurting him. And so we made this little sign and we've been out here know for about an hour. And we are waiting for rush hour so that everyone can see him and as you see he doesn't like it but this is punishment," said Dunn.

Tony Devine is a professional photographer and documented the parent's punishment Tuesday afternoon.

"I had to circle around and see what the signs says and sure enough it says, 'Honk I can't be good in school,'" said Tony Devine of College Station.

Psychologist Frances Kimbrough of Bryan suggests parents consider other punishment options first.

"In some cases it might be the best thing if they were bullying other people making fun of kids in public themselves. But public humiliation is not really what I if you would call it that, maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But I would think as a parent think how would I think if my boss did me that way," said Frances Kimbrough, PhD.

"There's no male figure around so I'm doing my best," said Erica Dunn.

The single mom defends what she did and doesn't think it will cause long term harm. She says he's had a history of getting in trouble at school.

"Ultimately I don't want my son in the system. Him being a young black boy in this Bryan/ College Station area. It's very hard for young black men in this area and I'm just trying to prevent my son from being one of those statistics," she explained.

"Yes I have learned my lesson from her and she told me you don't have to steal," said J'Varion Wells.

They are keeping the sign and plan to go to an even busier place if he acts up again.

Erica Dunn says her son did not get in trouble at school the day following the public punishment.

College Station Police did receive a call from a concerned passerby, but say the mom was with her son the entire time and he wasn't in any danger.


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