SPLENDORA, TX (KTRK/CNN) - A Texas mom said she wanted to make it clear to her young son that he was turning into a bully, and that was not OK with her.
"Star," the mom, asked that only her first name be used in this report.
"I did what I had to do to stop it from progressing," she said.
The fifth grader was calling other boys "stupid" and "idiot," she said. She used the shirt to send him a message.
"I wanted to do something that would teach him why he can't do those things, why he needs to take other people in consideration," Star said.
Richard Pesikoff, a child psychiatrist at Baylor College of Medicine, said he understands why Star would be upset about her son bullying other kids. But he said the T-shirt could do more harm than good.
"(It's) not a good idea to embarrass your child and solidify a negative identity in an elementary school child," he said. "She needs to find somebody to help her. And I think the school is one resource."
Star spoke with her son's counselor and teachers, and she said they supported her decision.
"They all were 100 percent on board," she said. "They understood why I was doing it. And that, for my son, this is what works."
A district spokesperson said in a statement that "ensuring a safe physical emotional and social environment is one of Splendora ISD's core principles. With that in mind, our counselor checked on the child throughout the day on Friday and plans to follow up with the student and parent early this week."
Star said she believes that follow-up won't be necessary.
"He learned from (it)," she said. "That's all that matters."
Star posted a picture of her son wearing the bully shirt on Facebook but said she took it down after getting negative feedback.
She said she's a "very old-school parent" who doesn't coddle her children or sugarcoat the world to them. She added that her son apologized to all the children he had bullied at school.