MONCKS CORNER , S.C. (WCSC) - A dad took an unusual approach when he learned that his daughter was bullying another child.
That dad, who lives in Moncks Corner, and the girl who was the target of the bullying, share their story.
"It's just like me and my friends, just like talking and stuff and then all of a sudden I'm just getting picked on, bullied about my clothes, how I wear it," Ryan Reese said.
Reese is a seventh grader at Berkeley Middle School. She says some girls had been teasing her for quite some time.
"They were just really hurting me and it took my depression really down and like really hit me hard and stuff. I literally had enough so I told my mom what happened," Reese said.
When her mom asked her who some of the girls were, turns out one of them was her cousin. So Reese’s mom called the girl’s parents, and the dad quickly responded.
“Well, growing up I was bullied so I first understood how Ryan felt,” Randy Smalls said. He is the father of one of the girl’s who was teasing Reese.
Since he could identify with Reese’s hurt, he knew exactly how he wanted to handle the situation to teach his daughter a lesson.
"She was supposed to go shopping that following Saturday, and her punishment was that the money that she was supposed to go and use, Ryan gets the money. I think that's the perfect punishment because my daughter likes to dress. So if they picking on a student because of the dressing, then I take away from her and give it to somebody else," Smalls said.
And he shared the incident on Facebook after Ryan got a trip to the hair salon and went shopping. Thousands showed their approval by liking the post and offering to help Reese too.
"I believe as a parent, we have to take responsibility for what our children do. We can teach our children and we can do whatever we can to help our children, but we gotta first take responsibility," Smalls said.
The hair and clothing were very nice, but Reese says it was something that money couldn't buy, that made her encounter with Smalls life-changing.
“He’s the first father figure I ever had. Sorry, ever since my father died, it’s just, it’s just really hard. Now I have someone I can look up to,” Reese said.
Reese says she and her cousin are now friends.
Because of the interest generated from his Facebook post, Smalls started a movement called Parents Against Bullying. It’s for parents of children who have been bullied and those whose children have bullied others. He works closely with Berkeley County Beats Bullying and C.A.V.E., which stands for Communities Against Violence Everywhere. Community members, teachers and school administrators are welcome to offer ideas on how to prevent bullying. If you have suggestions on how to fight back against bullying, send an email to this address.