What if bullies were forced to suffer the same torment as their victims? One judge likes that idea a whole lot. When a 13-year-old girl named Kaytlen Lopan and her 11-year-old pal hacked off the hair of a three-year-old girl in McDonald’s, a judge ordered the bullies to have short hair themselves.
Kaytlen sounds like the worse of the two bullies in the case by far. Not only did she and her friend chop a toddler’s hair, but she was also in court for making harassing phone calls to another girl, threatening rape and mutilation. Kaytlen was facing a month in juvey and 276 community service hours for her offenses–which she more than deserved. But the judge cut the bullies and their moms a deal.
The judge offered to cut the bullies’ community service hours down if the bullies saw firsthand how it feels to have short hair against their own will. He said he’d hack off 150 community service hours if the girls hacked off their hair.
Kaytlen’s mom, Valerie Bruno, agreed to cut Kaytlen’s hair right there in the courtroom with the victim’s mom watching and encouraging her to go shorter, and the other bully was sent to a salon to get short hair of her own–and had to report back to the judge to make sure it was short enough.
Ms. Bruno is now pissed that the bullies had to have the same short hair that they forced on a three-year-old. “I guess I should have went into the courtroom knowing my rights, because I felt very intimidated,” she told reporters. “An eye for an eye, that’s not how you teach kids right from wrong.” Fair enough, Ms. Bruno, but considering your kid hacked hair off of a three-year-old (we can’t emphasize that part enough–a frickin’ defenseless little three-year-old) and called another girl threatening to have her raped and hurt, are you really in a place to preach about the best way to teach bullies right from wrong? Because you clearly haven’t done the best job of it so far.
While we agree with Gandhi that “An eye for an eye makes the world blind,” short hair for short hair wouldn’t actually do anyone physical harm–but it would likely teach the bullies to keep their hands, or at least their scissors, to themselves. Plus, short hair–unlike eyes–can grow back. We just hope that in addition to their short hair that these bullies also get the help they clearly and desperately need. They can buy extensions, but they can’t buy empathy.
Do you think short hair is a good punishment for these bullies? Do you think bullies should suffer the same way their victims do? Tell us in the comments!