Tampa Mom Makes Son Wear Sign Announcing 1.22 GPA

Elizabeth Field

If you thought your parents were annoying, this is the article for you. Rhonda Holder of Tampa, Florida placed her 15-year-old child on a street corner with a sign around his neck reading “I did four questions on my FCAT and said I wasn’t going to do it…GPA 1.22…honk if I need an education!”

Holder still currently stands by her decision and said that she wanted her son to realize the importance of an education. She worried that if he does not value education, he would end up on the streets like all too many high school dropouts in the area. “I don’t want any of my kids to stand by the side of the road asking for change,” she adds.

Rhonda and her husband said that they have done everything they can to stay on top of their son’s academic work. She said that they have offered James help, asked to see his homework, grounded him, lectured him, and taken away his cell phone. But none of these actions have inspired him to do well.

“He’d tell us ‘school doesn’t give homework’ or ‘that teacher has a problem with me’,” his father explained. Once the student’s report card showed a failing grade in physical education, his parents made an appointment to speak with his teachers and principle. After the meeting, Rhonda Holder decided she had had enough with her son’s behavior.

The next day she created the sign and signed her son out of class. From there, she made him wear it while walking off campus and stand on a nearby intersection instructing drivers to honk. Many did in fact honk.

Childcare experts have criticized Holder’s actions, calling them unfair and ineffective. “It would definitely fall within the category of emotional abuse. It’s shame, embarrassment, and humiliation. This will be a lifelong memory for him,” states Arlinda Amos, a licensed clinical therapist in the area.

Surprisingly enough, James Holder stands behind his parents’ decision stating, “she was trying to teach me a lesson. I should have been working harder than I was in school.”