Mom’s Public Punishment Stirs Debate

My Fox Tampa Bay, Feb. 16, 2011

A Tampa mother is getting attention for some unconventional parenting.

Ronda Holder is forcing her 15-year-old son James Mond to stand on various Tampa street corners holding a sign detailing his bad grades.

Some cheer her approach as tough love; others question whether it’s too much.

The sign says he only answered four questions on his FCAT and has a 1.222 GPA. The sign asks passersby to “honk if I need an education.”

“Until he straightens up his grades and gets his education on track, he’s going to work this corner,” said Holder, with her son at Hillsborough Avenue and 22nd Street Wednesday.

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James’ mother realizes her parenting is unorthodox, but says it’s because she cares and doesn’t want her son to become a dropout. She says James will be on the corner for one week.

“He don’t like it and I’m probably the baddest parent in the world right now, but he’ll be okay,” she said. “In the long run, he’ll thank me for it.”

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