“How old are you?” Starks asks the girl who, throughout the video, fidgets and then starts to cry.
“Thirteen,” she mumbles.
“So why does your Facebook page say you’re 19? Are you 19?” Starks asks. “And are you a freak?”
Starks said her daughter was pretending to be 19 on Facebook, where she had accepted friend requests from grown men twice her own age.
“She’s had issues with Facebook in the past, at least four times in the past,” Starks told 7News Denver. “She spent half of last summer on punishment after being on Facebook, and it wasn’t even half as bad.” This time, she said, she took a different approach.
She filmed her daughter, whose face has been blurred in the video, admitting to her real age.
“You’ve got a Facebook page, and you’re on there with your bra on, right? Is that what you do?” Starks asks her daughter. The girl starts to sniffle.
“Don’t cry now. You wasn’t crying when you was posting pictures on Facebook, was you? In a bra?” Starks continues. “Some little girl in some lace panties that you know you don’t own. You still wear panties that say ‘Monday,’ ‘Tuesday,’ ‘Wednesday.'”
Then Starks turns to the camera.
“This is going to go on her Facebook page and I want all of you to know she watches Disney Channel, she has a bedtime, she doesn’t sit around in a bra, she doesn’t own any lace panties and she doesn’t know how to wipe her butt good — at 13,” she says.
“Tell them you’re going to be in the house all summer long reading books,” she tells her daughter. “You’re not going to be able to watch TV. You’re not going to play outside. You’re going to sit all summer long and think about how you’re never going to be on Facebook again.”
The video was posted over the weekend. By Friday morning, it had been viewed more than 12 million times and gotten more than 300,000 comments.
“Great job mom! You are to be commended,” Facebook user Joseph Thompson wrote. “Glad you still have the wheel before someone else steers her down the wrong road.”
Many commenters shared the same sentiment. Even some who didn’t agree with Stark’s parenting methods, agreed that it was for the girl’s own good. But others, including some parenting experts, said the video seems more like cyberbullying.
“It is heartbreaking,” parenting expert Amy McCready told CNN. She said although it’s obvious Starks loves her daughter, public humiliation is not an effective approach. “If kids fear that they are going to be publicly humiliated, guess what, they are going to get really good at hiding the truth,” McCready added.
“This type of shaming is NOTHING compared to the shame she would feel when skanky pictures of her go viral,” Amy Dague argued on Facebook. “Or if any of those grown men were to get ahold of her. The little girl wanted some attention and she sure got it, but she got it from the right place: from a mother who cares enough to make an impression! I’m sick of reading the comments about how this mom could have done it ‘differently’ and how her daughter will be ‘scarred.’
“Good for you Momma!”
On Monday, Starks posted another video, saying she is a single mother who rents a room from her brother. She goes to school at night and doesn’t work because she’s a convicted felon, she said, “for being around the wrong people who had marijuana.”
After she publicly chided the child, she said, she explained to her daughter why she did it. She also thanked people who have supported her. But to those who haven’t: “I’m her mother before anything. I’m not her friend,” she said in the second video. “My job is to raise her and sometimes that takes tough love.”
Starks said she will not lose her daughter “to the streets.”
“The streets won’t raise her. The schools won’t raise her. The system won’t raise her,” she said. “I will raise her if it kills me.”