The shirt in question included a sad face drawing and read: "I am a bully." The phrase and drawing were on both the front and back of the t-shirt, which the Greenleaf Elementary fifth grader wore to school on Friday.
"I did what I had to do to stop it from progressing," the Texas mom, identified solely by her first name, Star, told local news station KTRK in an article published Monday. "He was calling other boys ‘stupid,' calling them ‘idiots.'"
"I'm a very old-school parent. I don't coddle my children. I don't sugarcoat the world to them," she added.
Although Star did initially post images of her son wearing the shirt on Facebook as a means to offer an all-out apology to those bullied by her son, the photos were later removed after she began receiving negative comments from netizens.
Once her son returned home that fateful Friday, the pair sat down and had a discussion about his punishment. According to Star, her son broke it down for her, saying, "I learned that I didn't like the way that that felt, and I don't want anybody else to feel that way because of me."
And yet, while Star was satisfied with the results, not everyone thought the end justified the means in this particular situation. Richard Pesikoff, a child psychiatrist at Baylor College of Medicine, told the station that Star's actions were a bit too harsh.
"I don't think it requires the scarlet letter, searing the letter 'B' on his forehead," Pesikoff said. "Not a good idea to embarrass your child and solidify a negative identity in an elementary school child."
The official went on to stress that Star should've consulted the school and inquired about how best to handle the matter. However, Star and her son had in fact met with the school's counselor and her son's teachers ahead of classes on Friday.
The Splendora Independent School District released a follow-up statement, indicating that school officials were consulted and that the child was checked on throughout the school day.
"He'll survive," Star said. "And he's already been treating his sisters better. He's already been treating his cousins better. He learned from it. That's all that matters."