Anywhere, USA: Teens in Trouble: Aaron, Kathy, Roger

"I Want to Get Payback"
Dr. Phil talks to Aaron and Kathy about their son's bullying dilemma.
"When someone's calling me a name, it tears my soul out. I want to knock the s**t out of them," says 12-year-old Aaron, who is bullied and teased constantly at school. "When I get provoked, my anger starts kicking in. I want to get payback."

His parents, Kathy and Roger, say they feel powerless to stop the bullying. "The teachers do their best to stop it, but kids are kids,"
says Kathy, who works as a counselor at her son's school. "It's almost embarrassing that I can't do that with my child."

When Aaron comes home upset, he'll slam his bedroom door or lash out at his brothers, sometimes choking them. "The only time I accidentally, seriously hurt my little brother, I was practicing ball swinging and I smacked him across the head," Aaron admits. "If I really wanted to do it, I would get a chainsaw."

Kathy says it's only a matter of time before Aaron implodes. "If he continues with these anger outbursts, I am afraid he's going to hurt himself or hurt another person," she confesses.
"Can you tell if he's been bullied that day when he comes home?" Dr. Phil asks Kathy and Roger.

Kathy replies, "He doesn't vocalize much at all. He mostly goes inside himself when he's been bullied."

Roger agrees. "He shuts down," he says.

"If you look at every violent act that's happened at a school in the last several years " whether it's Jonesboro, Arkansas or Columbine or other places " every one of those children that has aggressed against the others has been disenfranchised. They've been bullied, they've been pushed into a corner until they do some desperate act to bite back," Dr. Phil points out. He asks if Kathy and Roger fear that Aaron is heading along that path.

"He is able to control himself in some aspects, but I'm afraid that when he does either implode or explode, that he's going to do some serious damage," Roger says.
Addressing Aaron in the audience, Dr. Phil says, "What do you say to yourself inside when kids are picking on you and bullying you?"


Aaron admits that he has mixed feelings. "Sometimes I'm saying 'Knock the fire out of him,' and the other time I'm saying, 'Just leave it alone,'" he says.

"Do you have any idea in your mind why it's happening to you?" Dr. Phil asks.


"Well, I do get some better grades than some other kids," Aaron replies.

When Dr. Phil asks if he discusses his problems with his parents, Aaron grows emotional. "It's hard because I feel like I'm going to be embarrassed in some way," he reveals.

"I think it's a serious and grievous error to leave kids alone when they are under attack," says Dr. Phil, explaining that 'disequilibrium' is needed to shake things up. He brings his son, Jay, onstage to talk about his anti-bullying initiative.

Jay says, "What I want to do is go to your son's school, and sit down with every one of them and ... get them to actually sign a contract that says, 'Not only will I not pick on somebody, but if I see it happening, I will stop it immediately, no matter what it takes.'"
Turning to Gary Null, the president of Elgin's school board, Dr. Phil enlists his support of Jay's initiative.

"I think
that with the support of the board, we'll be more than in favor of it," Mr. Null says.

Dr. Phil addresses Bryan Muschalek, a football coach at Aaron's school. "He needs an ally ... If we get this kind of program in this school ... can we enlist your aid to make him your project?" he asks.

Coach Muschalek replies, "Very much so. I would love to do that. I'm there for you Aaron."
Dr. Phil surprises Aaron with a phone call from Darren Woodson, the safety for the Dallas Cowboys.

"Darren, we really wanted you to talk to Aaron because when you're getting bullied, when you're getting picked on, sometimes you can start believing what everybody's saying," Dr. Phil says.

Darren agrees. "Even though I'm an NFL football player right now, I was probably one of the smaller kids in school. On the other side, the negative side of it, when kids picked on me, it almost hardened me to be more aggressive ... But I had to learn to find a way to communicate with these kids," he reveals. "I think Aaron will do a better job of being more confident within himself, and understand that he's going to go through this process."
Darren has also sent Aaron a Dallas Cowboys' gift basket. In addition, Aaron will get to visit Valley Ranch " the Cowboys' training facility, where he will attend a practice, spend the weekend with the football team and go to a game.

"I hear you want to be a football coach when you get a little older," Darren tells Aaron. "You keep that ambition going on, keep on dreaming, and stay strong."