COMMENTARY | When first reading about Debbie Piscitella, the Florida mother who ABC News Blogs says choked a Facebook bully in her 14-year-old daughter's defense, I was inclined to pontificate. According to the article, the kid wrote on Facebook that Piscitella's daughter was a "fat (deleted) whale and didn't deserve to live because she is so nasty that he wouldn't even rape her." That makes the mother bear in me want to disassemble the kid like a jigsaw puzzle and leave few pieces out.
It easy to say how parents should and shouldn't handle problems. The psychological jargon flows so smoothly in theory. Then you get a real-life situation and you shoot from the hip. Piscitella says she didn't put both hands on his neck, only one. Legally, that point is moot and Piscitella was arrested.
Pragmatically, I'd say the boy is lucky he picked on someone whose mother had so much self-control. If he's going to play adult head games with people and talk dirty about adult acts, he'd better learn to take his punishment like an adult.
And before anyone says the girl should stay off Facebook, it makes no difference. Online, by cellphone, at school, downtown, in the neighborhood, bullies bully wherever they are. It's impossible to avoid them and people shouldn't have to hide from them.
I have two daughters, including a 14-year-old, and don't need to have a same-age kid to feel solidarity with Piscitella. I'm not a violent person, don't advocate violence and I'm not cheering for her. But I feel sorry she was pushed to edge and had to protect her daughter from this boy's wretched behavior. Maybe the boy will think twice about how he treats people.
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