(CNN) — The mayor of Porterville, California, has some advice for people who are bullied.
“I’m against bullying, but I’m getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything, and the ills of the world,” Mayor Cameron Hamilton said at a City Council meeting, according to CNN affiliate KFSN-TV in Fresno. “All most people just have to grow a pair, and stick up for them damn selves.”
Hamilton made the controversial statement last week while discussing a proposal to create an anti-bullying safe zone for students, the TV station said.
Councilwoman Virginia Gurrola shot back, “It’s hard to just grow a pair when you’re a 10-year-old girl.”
On Tuesday night, CNN’s Don Lemon asked Hamilton if he wanted to apologize to victims of bullying.
“I didn’t use the word ‘youngsters,’ ” the mayor said, pointing out that he wasn’t referring to children.
“In today’s world, we’ve gotten to the point where we don’t take any accountability for ourselves,” he continued. “Or for those that are around us, our friends or for what we’re doing in our schools.”
The mayor defended himself, telling Lemon that he was in an “adult” meeting with no children around. But he conceded he probably could have used different words.
On Wednesday morning, Hamilton appeared on CNN’s “New Day” and explained his thoughts more.
He said that he’d like to see people “standing up” for victims of bullying and that he wishes teachers would do more to stop school bullies.