Father forces 'bully' son to run a mile in the rain

Bryan Thornhill via WarriorCode screengrab

A father has set off a fierce debate about parenting after a viral video showed him punishing his “’bully” young son by forcing him to run a mile to school – in the rain.

Bryan Thornhill, from Roanoke Virginia, uploaded a Facebook video of his ten-year-old-son running the mile to school after being suspended from the bus for three days.

My son has finally got in trouble on the bus enough that he got kicked off the bus for three days, because he was being a little bully which I do not tolerate. I cannot stand.

Therefore now he has to run to school. We’re about one mile from the school.

The video shows the 33-year-old father driving behind his son, who is jogging while wearing a large rucksack.

In the last few days, the video has been viewed 25 million times and has been shared more than half a million times.

People are intensely divided about the punishment, with some calling it great parenting while others criticise the father for exposing his son to potential illness.

One said:

You should be ashamed of yourself maybe if you were a better dad he wouldn’t be a bully but you show what kind a dad you are where you’re sitting in the car and your child is running in the rain good job bully that’s where he learned the bullying from you.

However, another congratulated the father for his disciplinary measures:

Great job Dad, I can only speak for myself but... as a UNITED STATES MARINE I can promise you that the rain,the 1mile jog or the backpack will NOT hurt this young man it any way. I just wish that there was more parents like you nowadays. In days to come, your Son will thank you for this trust me.

Others questioned the need to post disciplinary procedures on social media. Tommy Doyle wrote:

Don't like it when people post their discipline procedures for their children. I think that once you post it to social media it's more about you than for the discipline of the Child. But this one isn't bad and could serve a positive message.

Thornhill, who calls himself a gun supporter, told the Washington Post that his son has ADHD, but that it shouldn’t “define him”.

Since he’s been running to school this week, his behaviour has been much better, teachers have approved of his behaviour this week; he hasn’t got in trouble this week. Last week he was out of his mind.

This right here is old school parenting. This is a healthy way for a child to be punished because it’s exercise.

And for those critical of his parenting technique, he said:

If you’ve got your panties in a wad over watching a kid jog, well I feel sorry for you. If a kid jogging offends you, then get … off the couch — you probably need a lap or two.

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