Florida dad uses tough love to teach son about bullying; makes him hold 'I'm a bully' sign in public

Posted at 9:17 AM, Apr 30, 2018

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- Michael Yager says he was outraged after learning his son, Jacob, bullied multiple classmates at New Smyrna Beach Middle School. 

"I figured I would teach him a lesson that would embarrass him and make him feel the way kids feel," he said.

Wanting to teach his 13-year-old a lesson the frustrated father took an unorthodox approach. "I wrote the sign, I'm a bully. Honk if you hate bullies." 

Yager drove his son to nearby State Route 442 and parked him on a busy corner.

His son had to hold the sign high.

"Embarrassed and kind of nervous," Jacob admitted.

He says it did not take long for people to start honking.  

Some even stopped to talk to father and son.

"I had Edgewater Police stop by, I had Volusia County Sheriffs. I had a good response from the neighborhood," Jacob's father said.

But he acknowledges not everyone agrees with his parenting. "I had one woman come up and call me every name in the book." 

How do you respond to parents who say putting your son out on the road is, in fact, bullying your own son?" he was asked.

"In my mind, I was doing the right thing, but I guess you cannot please everybody," Michael Yager said. 

A recent staggering statistic shows one out of every five students report being bullied. 

Jacob says he has learned a valuable lesson. "You never know what someone can be going through. Like, if you want to be the bully and if you have something inside you to tell someone go to a guidance counselor or something."