'Good Morning Britain' Viewers Torn Over Bully Dad Who Made Son Run To School
You might remember Bryan Thornhill, a tough love father from Roanoke, Virginia, who last week reacted to his son being accused of being a bully at school by forcing ten-year-old Hayden to run to school in the pouring rain.
He posted a video online of the punishment - and now he's been invited to speak to Piers and co. on Good Morning Britain to defend himself.
"In the video I used the phrase 'for laughs', but not literally to laugh, it was to show some people that it's okay to get out there and parent your children," said Bryan.
"So many people are petrified to say anything negative about their kids or punish their kids other than time out, so to show people that it's okay to be out there and parent their kids. It will make them a stronger person. They better off they will be in the long run.
"We're gonna make sure that one way or another his teachers are gonna be able to enjoy his company at school, he's not disrupting his classmates and everything else. Teach your kids: don't be a friend, be a parent. That's what children need these days."
Naturally, some on Twitter objected to his harsh style of parenting. "This child has a right to privacy and his father has violated that," wrote one user, while another added: "If you think it is embarrassing for the 10-year-old to have a punishment posted on the Internet, how do you think he feels with all the media interviews broadcasting this all over the world?"
A third cast aspersions over Mr Thornhill himself, saying: "The reason his son is a bully because l'm sure that's what his father is."
It wasn't all one way, however. Some social media posters saw his actions as effective parenting. "Bullying is far worse than running one mile to school as punishment," posted another user.
Another backed up with: "People need to get a grip! It's called discipline and a natural consequence of the child's actions. People moan parents don't discipline and then moan when they do. He followed the child to ensure his safety. When did exercise and discipline become abuse?"
Young Hayden had been called 'a little bully' after an incident on the school bus. He was subsequently banned from the bus for three days, which caused his father to think up the novel punishment.
Featured Image Credit: ITV / Good Morning Britain