Debbie Piscitella has been all over the news lately – and for a pretty crappy reason. The Florida mom was arrested last week after choking a 14-year-old boy who bullied her daughter on Facebook. She and her daughter, 13-year-old McKenna, were shopping at a mall when they spotted the boy, who happens to be a classmate. Piscitella confronted the boy and put her hands around his neck while her daughter looked on. “I lost my temper,” she explained today on Good Morning America. “…I don’t go around doing that to children.”
The thing is, I believe her. I’m not saying what she did was right – heck, even Piscitella knows it was completely wrong – but can you really blame this woman for losing it? We’re talking about her child here. This girl was reportedly tormented and bullied by some asshole kid who apparently told Pisticella that he wasn’t going to stop and that he didn’t have to stop. Violence is never the answer but, well, if someone did that to my child, I’d probably lose it, too. Even just watching this girl on GMA today made my blood boil; she barely said a word yet she was crying and you could just see how upset – and totally vulnerable – she felt. It was actually pretty heart-wrenching.
Piscitella, for the record, was arrested and charged with child abuse just a few hours following the incident (she has since been released on bail). That’s because the boy’s mother decided to press charges after spotting red mark’s on her son’s neck. Again, I’m not saying Piscticella did the right thing, but I know few people who wouldn’t have done the same.
According to Piscitella, the boy began bullying McKenna after she posted a picture of herself taken by her younger brother after a concert. “It’s the nasty things that he was saying about her,” Piscitella said. “What really, really did it was when she was so upset about it. She wanted to hurt herself. That, to me, as a parent, seeing my daughter like that really angered me.”
What’s really scary is that Piscitella and McKenna’s father, Jim, said they had called both the school and police about this boy’s bullying but were told repeatedly that nothing could be done. “They have all these anti-bully laws but, when it comes down to it, it falls on deaf ears,” Piscitella said. She’s asking all parents out there to monitor what their children are doing on Facebook and to essentially take some responsibility.
What do you think? Clearly Piscitella should not have touched this boy but do you get where she’s coming from? What would you have done if this were your child?