May 6, 2013 7:18 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com
ORANGE GROVE - We've seen it before: parents punishing their kids by a form of humiliation. On Sunday that's exactly what two parents in Orange Grove decided to do when they found out their kid, Damien, posed as a drug dealer at school to fit in.
"I guess my desire to be higher on the social ladder," said Damien Rokohl explaining why he did it. What Damien didn't know, however, was that his little white lie turned into a bit of a mess.
"People believed it," said his mom, Missy. "All the kids were going around...they were teasing my daughter (saying), 'your brother's a drug dealer.'"
When the 14-year-old's parents found out he was in trouble at school, they decided to take some action.
"Spanking him is just not going to work anymore," Missy said, "He's 14. It's just not going to help."
In the past, Missy and Cody Rokohl, Damien's parents, tried taking their son's toys and electronics away but the punishments didn't seem to work so this time, they tried something new.
"We wanted to apologize to the entire community and that was our way of doing it," she said.
Damien stood out on the busy Orange Grove street corner for three hours on Sunday. While friends, family and complete strangers passed by, they saw the sign which read, "I pretend to sell drugs. Honk if you think I should be ashamed of myself."
When asked what it was like, Damien responded, "kind of embarrassing."
What his parents didn't expect was for Damien's punishment and apology to go viral. "Obviously we didn't want to have to do it," Missy Rokohl said. We didn't want to have to humiliate him but we want him to be able to change his own reputation."
Damien, who starts high school next year, says he definitely learned his lesson and more.
"If you have to put up a facade for people that you think are your friends then what do they think of you?" He questioned.
When we asked if he'd pose with the sign one last time, he said he'd pass.