TAMPA (CBS4)- Wearing a sign around his neck that read, “Honk if I need an education,” 15-year-old James Mond III stood for nearly four hours on a Tampa street corner after his wanted to teach him a lesson.
The boy’s mother said she was fed up with his bad grades and she sent him there in hopes that it would teach him a lesson about the importance of an education.
Ronda Holder, a hair stylist, never finished high school. Neither did the boy’s father.
She doesn’t want the same for her son.
So she sent him out to the corner Wednesday, with a sign telling the world about his 1.22 GPA.
“I don’t want any of my kids to stand by the side of the road asking for change,” said Holder.
Holder and the eighth grader’s father, James Mond, have tried everything else: asked to see his homework, grounded him, lectured him and taken away his cell phone. But nothing worked.
The teen’s father met with school officials Tuesday about the boy’s grades, but the elder Mond said his son seemed apathetic.
“He just sat there looking up at the roof like he wasn’t listening,” he said of his son.
That’s when Holder lost it. She colored the sign and sent her son out to the street the next day.
The teen said he understands where his mom is coming from, but said it wasn’t a punishment he would use if he had kids.
“I felt crazy,” he said. “It’s embarrassing.”
He promised to try harder in school. His middle school has since enrolled him in in after-school tutoring.
“She was trying to teach me a lesson,” he said. “I should have been working harder than I was in school.”
The Department of Children and Families is investigating whether the incident might legally be considered bizarre, a form of maltreatment.
A local TV crew filmed the boy and he wound up on the evening news. Holder says she doesn’t care about the critics or the media attention. She wants her son to have an education.
“This is one child who won’t be lost to the streets,” she said.