Well Eric, C.J.'s 38-year-old father, had enough.
"He went from getting A's and B's to getting D's and F's," said the frustrated father of six. "There’s two main reasons why he's out here; one is his bad grades, and the other cus he likes to wear his pants off his ass, now mind you, his mom and I didn’t raise him like that," he explains to an onlooker that made his way over from a nearby bus stop.
"I got the idea when I was at the barber shop a couple weeks ago. I know he likes being the center of attention and he likes making people laugh, so I thought what better way to have him be the center of attention than to be holding a sign in the community he lives?" The frustration that Eric faces is apparent in his voice when he explains the story behind the sign. He loves his son a lot, and while it looks embarrassing on the outside, Eric is teaching C.J. a lesson he won't soon forget.
"I've seen some changes already; this morning when I got home from work, his room was clean and the back yard was cleaned up as well. Now, today is only our second day being out here and if I stop now, he would think that doing a few good things would make up for being bad. Every negative action has a consequence!"
Eric works twelve to fourteen hours a day on graveyard shift, and instead of getting some rest, he is out teaching his son a lesson. He hopes that this will inspire more parents to become involved in their kids' lives. This was him at his last resort, the best thing he could do without putting his hands on his son(and if you ask me, more kids these days need a good butt whooping).
C.J. will be wearing his sign and his tough-loving father Eric will be sitting behind him for at least the next couple of weeks at the corner of Atlantic and South in North Long Beach. Feel free to drive by and show support like many locals and even police officers have done. Do you think Eric went too far? Do you think more parents should take these kinds of actions? How do you think C.J. is going to change in school?
562CityLife is in part funded by a Long Beach Community Foundation Connected Corridor grant supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Transformation Initiative.