Black Dad Spotlight: This is how a Houston father dealt with his son’s bully
They went from foes to friends.
When Aubrey Fontenot heard that his 8-year-old son Jordan was being bullied at school, he did some investigating.
Fontenot, a Houston tattoo artist, spent some time with 11-year-old Tamarion hoping to figure out the root of the ill behavior toward his son.
The father’s actions paid off, birthing a friendship and uncovering the truth behind Tamarion’s masked pain.
Fontenot discovered that Tamarion, though standing significantly taller than his own son, was bullied by other children at school because he didn’t have clean clothes or shoes. When Fontenot spoke with Tamarion’s mother, who gave him initial permission to reach out to her son, she told him the family was homeless and struggling to find stability.
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
So Fontenot spent some time with Tamarion earlier this month and responded with kindness: he took Tamarion on a mini shopping spree before bringing the young men face-to-face.
He figured the gesture would help both the boys.
Fontenot, who was also bullied as a child, recorded a few moments with Tamarion and posted the viral video to Twitter. The heartwarming clip shows Tamarion’s hardened exterior melt away as Fontenot hypes up the new clothes and shoes.
“Let me see whatchu looking like! Ooooh! You fresh!” Fontenot said excitedly in on portion of the video, which briefly featured the caption, “B happy king.”
Tamarion’s smile, laughter and joy as the pair sang songs on the way back home were utterly tear-jerking.
The video ends with the boys seated across one another at a table.
“I told him he’s a great person and this [situation] doesn’t make him bad,” Fontenot said in the Houston Chronicle. “I also told him that no matter what’s going on, you have to walk around with your head up and chest up. This world is tough. You can’t let what people say or do bring your self-confidence down.”
The boys became friends, now regularly found playing video games together in Fontenot’s tattoo parlor.
He realized there is beauty in listening to children, proven by the positive bond he helped create between Jordan and Tamarion.
Fontenot’s family also generously created a GoFundMe for Tamarion’s, which exceeded its $7,000 goal to raise more than $24,000.