A father who made his son jog one mile to school several times after bullying classmates on a school bus is polarizing opinions online. Bryan Thornhill from Virginia posted two videos that showed his 10-year-old son running to school and one of those times, the boy was jogging in the rain.
According to the Daily Mail, the videos, which were filmed last week, have ratcheted close to 2 million views online. Despite a backlash for his actions, the Virginia dad stood by his supposedly strong-arm methods, revealing that Hayden making his teachers and classmates uncomfortable was something he would not tolerate. The father disclosed in one of the videos that his son had been banned from the bus for three days for being a bully.
Hayden is seen running along the road in both videos, which run at over 13-minutes each, with his dad slowly following behind in a car with his lights flashing. Thornhill described his son’s punishment as old school, adding that it was based on the simple principle that when kids did something wrong, they needed to pay the price.
Despite disciplining his son, Bryan believes his son’s long-distance running will further improve his ability as an athlete, adding that Hayden maintained an excellent mile pace when he ran to school, not stopping once. The dad alleged that the punishment he doled out last week has already reaped benefits as teachers confirmed that Hayden’s behavior improved.
“He hasn’t got in trouble at school this week, whereas last week he was absolutely out of his mind…teach your kids, don’t be a friend, be a parent. That’s what children need these days.”
The Mirror is reporting that while some people are hailing Thornhill for being tough on his son, others are accusing him of being a bully himself and humiliating the boy. One person disapproved of the approach, pointing out that the Virginia man should have jogged with the boy and not followed him in a car, and recorded his humiliation.
“The fact of recording it and showing it to the world is so unnecessary. Have you ever thought maybe there is a reason he’s being a bully? Maybe something is going on with him.”
In one of his videos, Thornhill, who seems to be pro-guns, argued that his parenting stance was an effective form of “gun-control” because it made no excuses for wrongful behavior. He suggested that the serial problem of school shooters often came down to parents who were not firm with their children in their formative years.
Bryan said he was buoyed by the messages of encouragement and support on his page, adding that he loved his kids, but wanted them to stand over his grave and say “thank you dad, you did your job and raised us strong and right.”