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A Texas father has touched hearts across the internet after he shared the story of how he got to know his son’s bully and made a difference in his life.
When Aubrey Fontenot heard from his son Jordan that he was being bullied at school, like any good parent, he had to get to the bottom of it. While many parents would have gone to school officials to demand justice, Fontenot had a different approach. He wanted to understand why this boy was hurting his son.
He learned that the youth, 13-year-old Tamarion, was also being bullied. “I asked, ‘Who? You’re big, who is picking on you?’ He said, ‘All the other kids, they make fun of me,’” Fontenot told KHOU. Fontenot called Tamarion’s mother and learned from her that the family was going through a hard time; they were currently homeless, living in a hotel. Tamarion told Fontenot that the other kids at school bullied him for not having clean clothes. Seeing a chance to make a difference in a child’s life, Fontenot took Tamarion shopping.
spent some time with my sons school bully yesterday .. just to dig a little deeper on”why?” .. come to find out he was being bullied for not having clean clothes n clean shoes.. I asked “why?” .. just to find out that his family is currently homeless🤴🏿♥️🙏✊🏽I had to do Something pic.twitter.com/IY29lgChqY— TattooArtistAubrey (@illuminaubrey_) October 17, 2018
He bought Tamarion new clothes and shoes, and also took the time to impart some life lessons about self-respect and integrity. In a video Fontenot posted, Tamarion shyly smiles in his new outfit. As Fontenot spends more time with him and encourages him, that smile becomes bigger until they’re laughing and singing together in the car.
The next big step, and perhaps the harder one, was a reconciliation between the two boys. The video Fontenot took shows the two boys sitting in awkward silence, but according to Fontenot, that didn’t last long. “I said we need to settle stuff like men,” Fontenot told KHOU. The two boys slowly began talking, and from there a friendship blossomed.
This is today .. .. potnas .. n now I’m a first time mentor 🤷🏾♂️🙏 pic.twitter.com/9JpD2X84Qq— TattooArtistAubrey (@illuminaubrey_) October 17, 2018
This was not a one-off action for Fontenot. He also set up a GoFundMe for Tamarion’s family, which so far has raised over $25,000, and is staying active in Tamarion’s life as a mentor. A frequent sight at Fonteno’s tattoo parlor these days is the two young boys sitting in the back of the shop, playing video games together.
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.