Mom follows daughter to class with camera: Is kid shaming the new preferred punishment?

A Wyoming mother followed her daughter to school with a camera to shame her in front of classmates for skipping class. Could parents who embrace shame punishments find the same behavior turning around to bite them?

Screenshot from KTWO
Screenshot from the interview with mother Jeannie Crutchfield and her teen daughter. Ms. Crutchfield followed her daughter to school and classes with a camera, shaming her in front of classmates for cutting class.

Jeannie Crutchfield, a mom from Casper, Wy. just upped the ante on the emerging practice of kid shaming when she dogged her daughter with a video camera on school grounds to publicly humiliate the girl for ditching classes.

Ms. Crutchfield didn’t simply follow and film her daughter, Ricki, 14, from class to class, but loudly scolded the teenager in a way that some parents, including me, found cringe-worthy. 

"This is what happens when Ricki can’t act right. Her mom has to come to the school to record her to get it through her head,” Crutchfield begins the video.

As she follows in her daughter’s steps, Crutchfield adds, “We’re going to hold hands and we’re going to go to class together. Isn’t that great? Yeah! We’re going to class together,” the mom rants in a sing-song taunt. “Now let’s see how cute you think is sit with mom during class."

Listening to this mom rail at her daughter reminds me of the way some young children often begin a roll-on-the-grass fight by shouting, “Oh yeah? Well, see how you like it when I do this!”

Crutchfield then posted the video walk of shame on Facebook. Some 30,000 views and 800 thumbs up later the video is now getting national news attention.

I wanted to know how widely accepted this kind of extreme teen shaming has become, so I sent the video to two dozen parents via Facebook message and found an even 50-50 split between some parents thinking this was the right punishment and others thinking it was too much.

“This seems like a perfect example of traditional parenting (not being your kid's friend, but being a parent and providing oversight and discipline to make sure your kid stays in line),” wrote one mom Christina Schweiss.

“It's over the top and super embarrassing for the kid. Not cool at all. There are other ways to teach children lessons,” responded another mom Michelle Odom.

It was clear from Crutchfield’s video that this mom was at her wit’s end and furious over finding out that her teen had skipped school and lied about it.

That’s what makes me wonder how much of this and other incidences of public shaming come from a place of possible revenge rather than parenting.

"It was kind of just spur of moment. It was ya know. I debated on whether I was going to do it or not and I was like I'm just going to do it," Crutchfield admitted when speaking to local ABC news Wyoming affiliate KTWO.

While making the video in a public school in front of the girl’s peers may have been “spur of the moment,” posting it on Facebook seems a bit more like a vengeful follow up.

Yet, the case can be made that this parent knew her daughter well enough to find a tactic that worked on her, since KTWO interviewed them both afterwards and the daughter was positive about the experience.

"It just goes to show that my mom cares. My friend Ruby, she's in WCC and she said she wished her mom would have done that for her," Ricki said.

I wonder which was the more lasting lesson Ricki learned: that ditching class and lying are bad for your future and your character, or how to exact revenge.

It made me think about how tech-savvy kids are and how easily the tables can be turned. If not careful, could parents find themselves in the candid camera video spotlight of vengeful teens?

In that case, I might expect a whole series of, “My mom punished me for cutting class, but here’s what I her caught doing …”

I too have experience Crutchfield’s frustration, most recently when I learned three weeks ago that my son, now 19 and in college, was a class cutter while in high school.

My son’s high school teachers never mentioned class cutting, but rather assignments not turned in as being the culprit.

He got his diploma. Because he does well on standardized tests he made it into college, but bad grades kept him from getting scholarships.

This was a rough parenting moment for me because I was disappointed and angry at both my son and in myself for failing to catch his truancy.

All I wanted to do was shout at him. But I didn’t.

I considered the fact that he has since seen the error of his ways and become a straight-A student in college. He is suffering mightily to pay for his schooling, working every hour he’s not in a classroom.

After a few days of cooling-off I told him what I’d learned and how disappointed I was. He didn’t make any excuses. He sat surrounded by textbooks on Japanese, physics, and chemistry, looked up at me pleadingly and said, “I can’t go back and change it now. I’m sorry I hurt you though. As you can see, I’ve learned my lesson.”

While I wish I’d been the one to teach him, it was life and experience that drove the punishment and lesson home.

Extreme child shaming may have worked in Crutchfield’s case, but before parents enter into the realm of teen-shaming, they might first want to consider what is won and lost in the process.

Earning respect from kids might mean parents having to stay above the fray in order to be a voice of reason when teens test their limits.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Mom follows daughter to class with camera: Is kid shaming the new preferred punishment?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today