"Tough love" inspires Facebook group

Thu Dec 4, 2008 11:39am EST
 
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian father who made his 5-year-old son walk 13 km (8 miles) to school every day to discipline him has inspired an appreciation group on social networking site Facebook.

Sam Burt made headlines last week when Australian media reported that he and his son Jack woke up at dawn each day to walk from their home in a remote town in the Northern Territory to school.

The punishment was meted out because Jack had been kicked off the school bus for hitting the driver in the head with an apple core.

Fellow Northern Territory resident Renee Elliott was so impressed with Burt's approach she set up "The Sam Burt Tough Love Appreciation and Support Group" on Facebook, the world's largest online social network.

"All those in favor of Sam Burt's TOUGH LOVE say IIIIIIII," Elliott wrote on the site.

The site has attracted more than 151 members from around the world since it was set up earlier this week.

"Bravo Sir, Big fan of your work," wrote Corey Wilson from Australia.

"Good on ya Sam, he will thank you for this one day," wrote Michelle Spooner-Astill from the United Arab Emirates

"Finally, a parent takes time to teach their kid about consequence -- WELL DONE!!," wrote Jariah Kaissis.

Burt has become a local hero in his hometown. One Australian newspaper said there have even been calls for him to be named "Father of the Year" in the annual national award.

(Reporting by Pauline Askin; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Paul Tait)

 
<p>A Facebook profile is seen in a handout photo. REUTERS/Handout</p>