After Aubrey Fontenot’s son came to him about being bullied at school, the concerned Houston dad spoke to officials about what an older 11-year-old was doing to Jordan, 8. Soon after, another incident occurred with the same boy, this time resulting in Jordan’s phone disappearing.
When Fontenot went in to speak to the principal and a police officer about the latest encounter, he discovered that the bully — a boy named Tamarion — was actually in need of help, according to The Houston Chronicle.
“They insinuated he was homeless,” Fontenot told Good Morning America. “I was like ‘Oh okay I didn’t realize that, wow that makes a lot of sense.’ “
Fontenot spoke with Tamarion’s mother, who told him that yes, the family was indeed homeless. “I decided I wanted to talk to the boy myself, and his mom gave me permission,” Fontenot told the Chronicle.
Tamarion confided in Fontenot that he was actually jealous of Jordan — because he had clean clothes.
“He said he was getting made fun of by the other kids,” Fontenot told the Chronicle. “They said his shoes were cheap and his clothes were dirty.”
So Fontenot, a tattoo artist, decided to take Tamarion shopping — on October 16, the day the boy was serving a suspension for taking the phone.
“I took him shopping and bought him some clothes,” Fontenot told GMA. “I talked to him about morals and principles and having self-respect. He’s not much of a talker, but I got him to open up.”
Fontenot shared part of the trip in a video he posted to Twitter, urging a shy and smiling Tamarion to sing.
Fontenot also made peace between his son and Tamarion. He got them together, and at first the boys had nothing to say, reported Houston’s KHOU 11.
But then the boys began to talk. “One kid said one thing, another kid said something,” Fontenot told the station. “I said we need to settle this stuff like men.”
As he told GMA: “I said, ‘From here, this is nothing. Shake hands and from now on you are brothers and you protect each other.’ “
Himself a victim of bullying as a child, Fontenot said his experience taught him the importance of listening when Jordan became a victim.
“I was angry at first,” Fontenot told KHOU 11, “then I said let me try something different.”
The boys now play video games together, and according to Fontenot, they are much more than friends.
As Fontenot told GMA, they’re “brothers.”
Fontenot has also set up a GoFundMe page to help Tamarion’s family, raising almost $28,000 for them as of Friday morning.
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