Should parents be legally responsible for their children's crimes?

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Postby Gwen » Sat Jun 23, 2001 1:03 pm

What do you people think about making PARENTS <b>legally</b> responsible for the crimes their children commit? I was reading the horrific thread here dedicated to the poor child who was beaten to death by two 10 year olds and the various responses it elicited from posters here. Obviously there is a good debate about what to do with the two perpetrators. But what about their parents? Don't they also share in the responsibility for the way thier children acted out? Don't they also play a part in this heinious crime? WHERE WERE they when their two kids were torturing animals and developing violent personalities and tendencies? Don't they have an OBLIGATION to know their own kids? Aren't parents responsible for the actions of their children? Aren't parents responsible to teach their own blood right from wrong and also to notice if their kids are following down a dark path? Well, I think so. And I also think that if we as a society start punishing parents equallyas we punish their children for awful unthinkable crimes then we would start to see better and more careful parenting all around!!!
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Postby Annael » Sat Jun 23, 2001 1:11 pm

How about supporting parents who raise their children, instead of dropping them off at kiddie kennles. How about letting parents punish their children without threat of arrest? I believe the main reason why kids get screwed up is because they are not punished by authorities when they do wrong, and they raise themselves.<BR><BR>Get a parent back in the home, and I think you'll find parents who think it is important that their children behave themselves.<BR><BR>In my neighborhood growing up, it was not uncommon to find kids playing in front yards and riding their bikes around the neighborhood. Today, it seems the neighborhoods are near void of children playing. The young ones are in day cares and the older ones are off raising themselves(gangs). <BR><BR>I know this is a generalization, but this picture is all to common reality.
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Postby Hobbituk » Sat Jun 23, 2001 1:15 pm

I agree. parents should face a punishment<BR><BR>after all, it is their job to take care of the primary socialisation of the child, and if children are becoming little criminals<BR>whether it be from the horrifying Bulger Case to everyday acts of theft, physical and verbal abuse and vandalism then it is evident that the parents have failed in this task.<BR><BR>unfortunatly, although this might encourage parents to teach children to think of consequences more in what they do, some parents would take the punishment and continue to shelter the child. in that way the child completely misses being disciplined.<BR><BR>there is no easy answer i guess, but things do need changing.
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Postby Gwen » Sat Jun 23, 2001 1:28 pm

For me, this goes all the way back to the Columbine school shootings here in the States. I remember being absolutely FLABBERGASTED that the parents of those two devils had NO IDEA that their teenagers were amassing a small arsenal in thier bedrooms and also making BOMBS in the garages of their own homes!!!! I grew up in a single parent family and believe me, if I ever tried to do anything like that my mom's radar would have kicked in instantly. AS IT SHOULD!! I can't even begin to understand the pain and anger the parents of that little boy feel. But I do know that if anything like that ever happened to me (GOD FORBID PLEASE) I would be even angrier at the parents of the two 10 year olds!!! We must stop making excuses and start having consequences in this world for parents who aren't parenting!!
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Postby Nira » Sat Jun 23, 2001 1:42 pm

So you are saying that all crimes done by children are the parents fault?
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Postby Desdemona » Sat Jun 23, 2001 2:06 pm

I don't think it is reasonable to hold parents responsible for the more psychotic or irrational behavior of their children. Holding them responsible for acts of vandalism or disorderly behavior might be appropriate under some circumstances, but there are too many other factors besides parenting that create the circumstances where a child murders. For example, the two boys who were involved in the Columbine shootings were ostracized and teased by their peers for not fitting in. Shouldn't those students who taunted the two shooters also be held responsible, then? Should the school system that did not monitor student behavior be held responsible? There are just too many unknown factors that go into promoting abherrant behavior of that kind to hold only the parents equally as responsible as the criminals themselves.
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Postby Fatty_Bolger » Sat Jun 23, 2001 5:13 pm

Well, if I want to drive a car, I have to get a license, and in most of the countries I have to pass exams to get it. If you want to raise children, something far more important for the future of our societies, you just have to (censored). It's widely assumed everyone is perfectly able and fit to raise kids - except for the mentally ill that ar elocked in asylums usually.<BR>Not that I was badly raised and educated by my mom, no problem with that. But considering the common good of mankind, that is, caring for others and not being utterly selfish as is too often seen both in outside world and in these boards, I think it's time to take this precise issue into consideration: how should kids be really raised? Shoudl every people by allowed to do anything with kids? Just think that many of you are claiming some kids or elder people you know are just absolutley unbearable. Well, think now that if you are nice people and good parents, those unbrearable irresponsible people will have children too, and they'll be just as bas as their parents probably, if not worse.<BR>So yes, first, parents are legally responsible for their kids, and if they're not fully, let's make it full responsibility. After all, they decided to have kids, yes or no? If you don't want to have problems with your children, simply don't get any child and the problem is solved. And don't misinterpret me, I don't mean that the kids have no responsibility if the parents have. They have too. Just that I don't think the total responsibility should be divided between the numerous people that have a part of it in such awful cases; if some people has full responsibility, another may be as much guilty as well, without that the common guilt and responsibility means that the burden of each of them should be lessened.<BR>And eventually, in every such awful case as a murder committed by a child, the question should be asked: should the parenty be allowed to raise any kid again? This is not a definitive and immediate suppression of this "right", just that justice and professionals should automatically make investigation on the family to check if the parents are responsible and civilised enough to raise kids or if they're absolutely incapable and that the care of any of their children should be at once be transferred to other more fit and responsible people.
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Postby Orc#5063 » Sat Jun 23, 2001 8:16 pm

All well and good, but don't be fooled by the sensational media. If you look at the statistics, violent crime since the early nineties is down across the board (ok, up <i>slightly</i> if you listen to the newest FBI report.) Which isn't to say children commiting violent crimes isn't a big problem that shouldn't be dealt with, only that the problem isn't really getting any worse. We're not edging closer to total societal collapse or anything like that.<BR><BR>Yes, parents play, by far, the most important role in a child's development. In some cases (when the offspring is still under 18 and a dependant) the parents should be held partially responsible for the actions of the child. After that, though, the parents shouldn't be held legally responsible (even though they do certainly still share responsibility morally.)<BR><BR>Lastly, the state has no right to attempt to prevent parents whom they feel are "incompetant to raise children" from breeding.
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Postby Misty » Sat Jun 23, 2001 8:39 pm

Rant alert! Get comfy!<BR><BR>This is an extremely complicated issue that has been broken down into convenient sound bites in our media today. <BR><BR>Are parents responsible for their children's behavior? To a certain extent, yes, particularly if they are still young when the crime is committed. There are no easy fixes to this problem.<BR><BR>With a son going into high school next year, I've been following stories like the ones mentioned here (and other threads) with interest. <BR><BR>It hit particularly close to home when a student from my son's middle school was caught threatening to bring explosives to school (materials were found at the house). It would be very easy to say, "oh the kid is scum, the parents are trash, blah, blah blah." <BR><BR>Guess again. My son knew this kid; despite the clearly disturbing behavior, this kid also was one of a handful that intervened on my son's behalf when he was being singled out because of his skin color (he is 1/2 Hispanic) and because of his back injury (when he was wearing a back brace). Not quite the monster you would think, hmm? <BR><BR>I never met the boy or his family, but some one did call into a local talk show and described people quite different from the media stereotypes we all see and know. While I am grateful he was stopped (and he did pay quite a high penalty), this shows that the scenerios are not always so cut and dried. <BR><BR>There has been a lot of research on the teenage mind, particularly young adolescents (late elementary, middle school) where it is suggested that for a period of time, their abililty to make long term judgements is impaired. Generally speaking (and no offense to the teens on this message board), the theory is they have difficulty planning out next week, let alone next year, particularly when understanding long term consequences. <BR><BR>Add to that schools that have become so overbloated with administrative bulls\%#t that no one can be bothered to really educate the students; when my son was subjected to racial slurs (and that's what they were), no school official intervened, ever. There is no discipline or accountability in the schools today for either the adults or the students. Education alone is worth another thread altogether.<BR><BR>Add to that one/two parent families where job hours are longer, stresses run higher and general lifestyle is faster (too fast). Parents either are too lazy or too tired to put in the time/discipline needed for their kids. <BR><BR>Add to that the illusion that these kids are "grown up" simply because their bodies look that way. They are left alone for too long, given adult responsibilities far too soon, exposed to adult themes far too often (and too soon) with little guidance.<BR><BR>Recipe for disaster? <i>Ya think?!?!?</i><BR><BR>It's going to take more than punishing parents after the fact to help; you can't legislate morality. It's going to take an entire society looking at itself very hard and making changes within. <BR><BR>(IMHO) <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby Gwen » Sat Jun 23, 2001 11:33 pm

<BR>I'm not talking about legislating morality. I'm talking about punishing parents for the sins of their children. I'm talking about possible jail sentences or extreme fines or SOMETHING for the love of god. I'm talking about quitting making excuses for bad parenting ie. work, stress, blah blah blah. If you can't handle the responsibility of raising moral kids then don't have them. And if they screw up, then you get to share the consequences. Because their first and foremost role model should be YOU the parent!! Not Hollywood or the media or their peers. YOU!! I am surprised at the amount of animosity aimed after the two 10 year olds in the English case and the little or none aimed at the parents of these two little monsters. Because I think that's where the blame ultimately lies.
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Postby Gwen » Sat Jun 23, 2001 11:46 pm

Nira,<BR><BR>In answer to your question I think we have to first distinguish the difference between fault and responsibility. It is the fault of the two 10 year olds for beating that child so gruesomely (sp?) to death. They should suffer our societies legally imposed consequences for their actions. It is the responsibility of the parents to raise children who never ever for one second even consider doing such an act. They also should suffer legal consequences as well.
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Postby Nira » Sun Jun 24, 2001 12:37 am

Gwen, My traffic teacher for driving mopeds at school had the opinion that every crash could be avoided. If you crashed you had made a fault. If someone rear ended you, you should have seen him coming and could taken action.<BR><BR>In a way he is right. All it would take is for us to not to crash was to be perfect and accidents would not happen.<BR><BR>The thing is that if you are a bad parent the society has the opportunity to take the children and place them in another environment. If they beat them they could get a punishment as well.<BR><BR>What do you think should be viewed upon as criminal neglect? What do you know about how those kids were raised, and how likely it was that they should do something like this?<BR>
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Postby Khamul'sshadow » Sun Jun 24, 2001 1:11 am

Wow, I'm not a parent and don't really ever want to bear this<BR>heavy burden. But I'm a teacher, who comes into contact daily with<BR>the youth of today. The vast majority of my students are lovely well-adjusted children, with a minority being maladjusted ( I was teaching<BR>in China). I really find it disturbing when we have knee-jerk,<BR>emotional reactions to the problem of teenage crime today. What I <BR>hear on this thread is, essentially, if the child makes an error,<BR>crush them right into the dirt. If that doesn't work, charge the<BR>parents ( hey why not the grandparents ?). The fact that the British<BR>government saw fit to try 2 ten year old kids with "Adult" murder<BR>is utterly ludicrous. YES, the crime was an abomination ! That <BR>hardly means we should break every law in the book to try them for<BR>revenge, and cooktheir parents to book ! IMHO, there is far too<BR>much "let the blood flow in the streets" mentality in regard to<BR>youth crime, and far too much ignorance in regard to its roots. I know<BR>this will draw a fiery response, but it is what I truly believe.<BR>Where is our Tolkienist compassion and pity ?<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby seaserpent » Sun Jun 24, 2001 3:08 am

Well the parent's responsibility to raise a child is heavy and most people knows. So the thing is, they should weigh the matter before decidinge to have kids. Simply look at if they can afford a good enviroment and proper upbringing. If you're not going to teach your child to be a good person in the future why bother having them in the first place. If you won't have time to look after them I don't think it's right if you give birth to them. People should be prepared to be responsible because they have the future of a life in their hands and many other lives are likely to be influenced so it's not just like buying a cat. It's deadly serious and it's sad how some people don't think about it. <BR>Ofcourse it how a child turns out depends on themselves partly as well. Two siblings in the same environment can be totaly different but the basic lies in the parents.<BR>But looking around the neighbourhood I can see those family with like over six kids and onwards and they really can't afford them.....I have always wondered why they don't do family plan....I'm sure this is in every country. And those kids are just being basically left on their own. <BR>And just today as I was on the road (in the car) this five year old kid was ridding his tiny bike right onto the middle of a busy road! My mom nearly had a heart attack and stopped like, tyres screecing. The kid's actually on the other side of the road but he just rushed out. And then the car on that side stopped as well and picked up the kid and tries to take him home. I mean, living on a busy road shouldn't the parent supervise their kid? Just as well there were only two cars and we were both slow.....<BR><BR>Looking at how so many kids turns out today I'm not quite sure if I'll be fit for the role of a parent. So in conclusion people should think before they rush into it!
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Postby Gwen » Sun Jun 24, 2001 7:23 am

<BR>Why not punish parents for the crimes of their children? We punish pet owners who let their pitbulls (just an example!) run wild and bite people!! But if your kid kills my kid, then our society has no laws set in place to punish the parents!! Parents should be in charge of their children. They should know them well enough to know if their behavior is going to be a problem to the rest of us and then take appropriate and logical actions to deter them. I know the grand majority of children and teenagers are not violent and do not kill anyone. I know that most kids are inherently good and will grow up to be productive and contributive members of the community. I've been volunteering in our local school system for awhile helping young kids who are falling behind the rest of their class to read better. Usually these same kids are disruptive and mean to the rest of the members of their classroom. Usually these children have little or no parental involvement in their activities at school. The parents of these kids are not the ones that are coming to school conferences. And as I sit there with the child reading with them and going over grammar, I think, why am I the one doing this?? Where is this child's parents?? There is no excuse for this kind of behavior and bad parenting. No good excuse whatsoever. I believe there is far more to parenting than just feeding, clothing, and providing shelter. Those aspects are the bare minimum of raising kids. Parents are also responsible for the moral upbringing of their children as well. Flagrant neglect of this duty resulting in the unleashing of little hellions on the rest of society is tantamount to criminal behavior in my book.
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Postby Nira » Sun Jun 24, 2001 7:41 am

Are you equating dogs and children? I would say that children are more complicated than dogs, and have to be treated differently.<BR><BR>[joke] I will not start walking with my kids in a leach and with a wire mask over their little faces <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>.<BR><BR>The thing is it’s very difficult to say what a proper upbringing means. Is a hippie upbringing with a lot of emphasis on freedom wrong? Is a religious upbringing with emphasis on sin wrong?<BR><BR>Will all kids react the same way to the same treatment?<BR><BR>We already have laws that regulate abuse/criminal neglect of kids, and I don’t see how much more we can regulate through laws.<BR><BR>And there are a lot of kids that have gotten a good upbringing that still does wrong for different reasons. I would not add more burden to the parents, and punish them for not being able to create perfect kids. <BR>
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Postby Gwen » Sun Jun 24, 2001 7:52 am

<BR>I'm not talking about legislating specific ways of raising kids. Nor am I trying to advocate one way of raising them over another. You can raise your kids any ole way you want to. With or without religion. Whatever you as a parent think is best for your lifestyle and values. But the outcome of whatever you decide to do had better be a child that doesn't kill and torture people. Is that too much to ask of people who decide to bring life into this world? I don't think so.
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Postby HaplothePatryn » Sun Jun 24, 2001 8:03 am

I totalyy agree with you.<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR>The parents have the be the leaders and set the good example for their kids or their kids will follow down the dark path.<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><BR><BR>But also consider it this way.<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>If the parents raise their children perfectly and they teach them right from wrong, and they still go the wrong way, what to do then? Do you punish the parents for that too or do you punish the kids?<BR><BR><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I personally believe that ten years old is plenty old enough to know right from wrong wether your parents did their job or not. When you are standing there listening to your victim scream out in pain and watch them dying, then you know that that is wrong. A three year old would know better than to do something like that and the grown up supposedly "matured" children can't figure it out yet? <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Both sides must be carefully considered before you judge either the kids or their parents though. It's up to the courts!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Sun Jun 24, 2001 8:03 am

And how, exactly, Gwen, would you propose to punish the parents of children who commit crimes? Fine them? Imprison them? In already overcrowded prisons? What do you think that would achieve? What purpose would it serve? <BR><BR>There are depressing examples of dysfunctional parenting to be found at every level of society, from poor families to rich ones. <BR><BR>"I am surprised at the amount of animosity aimed after the two 10 year olds in the English case and the little or none aimed at the parents of these two little monsters. Because I think that's where the blame ultimately lies."<BR><BR>In that case, you might be interested to know that the home of Sue Venables, the mother of Jon Venables, one of the Bulger murderers, was once surrounded by a screaming mob and she was attacked and spat at in the street. I should imagine that the mother of Robert Thompson (his birth father walked out on the family when he was 6) has been on the receiving end of similar expressions of hatred, once the local community realised who she was. Don't you think that to known as the parent of a child who committed such a dreadful crime is a life sentence in itself? Believe me, there's plenty of animosity out there - and people who apparently have no moral problem with lynching somebody else.<BR><BR>My opinion about crime is that those who commit the crime should be punished. Not their parents. My opinion about the Bulger case is that the two murderers (now aged 19) should have served the 15 years originally recommended and not been let out after 8. <BR>
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Postby Gwen » Sun Jun 24, 2001 9:32 am

<BR>Diamond,<BR><BR>Yes I do think that being the parent of a child that commits a horrific act carries with it a life sentence of pain and anguish. But I don't care. That is the risk one takes when one decides to have children and neglect them to the point that your 10 YEAR OLD CHILD thinks torturing a toddler to death is fun. It's too bad that it was left up to the community over there to socially punish the parents of the perpetrators. Possibly if there was some sort of legal ramifications for parents of violent children then the community wouldn't feel so compelled to retaliate. Your children are your responsibilty. Their actions while maybe not directly your fault, (in that you did not actually commit the crime) are still your responsibilty. I have a hard time believing that kids who are committing violent crimes are coming from homes where parents are seriously and emotionally involved in their kid's lives. You ask what purpose would legally punishing parents serve? The same purpose as punishing the little kids does. You punish those responsible for crime.
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Sun Jun 24, 2001 12:41 pm

Gwen,<BR><BR>What you propose is completely unworkable. Following your argument to its logical conclusion, we should be locking up the parents of ALL criminals, not just children who commit criminal acts.<BR><BR>Robert Thompson and Jon Venables certainly came from poor families and dysfunctional backgrounds - Thompson's father walked out on him when he was a small child and his mother was an alcoholic. None of that explains why he and Venables were motivated to kill. There are children who come from far worse backgrounds than those two, and they don't kill. Thompson and Venables may have come from inadequate homes, but Venables' mother certainly loved him. There is not always a neat connection between one's upbringing and committing an atrocious crime.<BR><BR>The Bulger case was terrible and deeply shocking, but no purpose is served by demonising the unhappy parents of those boys. I can't imagine what you think would have been achieved by locking the parents up or penalising them in some other way, except by venting a collective rage and desire for retribution. <BR><BR>Peace,<BR><BR>Di<BR>
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Postby Annael » Sun Jun 24, 2001 1:43 pm

Perhaps if we were more concerned for the group of apples and not so concerned about a single apple, we could get rid of the trouble makers and reward the good kids. As it stands, the trouble makers rule, because schools are too afraid of lawsuits and rightfully so. The liberal courts are just as much to blame as screwed up parents.<BR><BR>At some point society is going to have to say that being a decent law abiding citizen is more important than the individual's right to be a thug.<BR><BR>As far as the parents of these two kids, they sound like the pefect example of what Gwen is talking about. Jerk kids on the whole, don't just happen, they are left to fend for themselves and become that way.
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Postby Nira » Sun Jun 24, 2001 2:20 pm

I do not think that lawsuits is a problem in the UK, and neither is it in Norway.<BR><BR>We can and should care for both groups.<BR><BR>The idea of punishing the parents is indeed unworkable.
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Postby Annael » Sun Jun 24, 2001 2:24 pm

I understand, the solution is the government taking care of people, because they evidently can't do it themselves? I'm sorry, but I don't see how, unless you want state run organizations like the Hitler Youth.
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Postby legolas the elf » Sun Jun 24, 2001 2:25 pm

Sell the kids for food!!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Gargoyle » Sun Jun 24, 2001 6:08 pm

New bumper sticker: "Kids don't kill people, parents with kids kill people."<BR><BR>
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Postby peregin2k » Sun Jun 24, 2001 6:09 pm

Here in Canada, they've already proposed that parents get a fine or imprisoned for the crimes of their children esp. second time offenders. Well, it didn't push through. <BR><BR>I agree with Nira, is it really the parent's fault that their kid's go astray. I know somebody who was at the top of my class and comes from a very good family and just out of the blue got caught shoplifting. When he was asked why he did it, he said he was bored and wanted to do something exciting out of his life. Plus the fact, he got involved with the wrong crowd. So was it his parent's fault that he did the crime. Parents can't be there for their kids 24/7 you know, kids sometimes needs space to figure things out for themselves. Spoonfeeding them and going through their stuff all the time is not going deter them if they really want to do something stupid.<BR><BR>How about the teachers, too, huh? Why haven't they've seen that there is something wrong with those kids? They watch these kids 6-8 hours a day, too. Do we have to blame overcrowded classrooms for the way kids act nowadays. How about music videos or cinema which glamorizes guns, thugs, etc.? Do we always have to point a finger?<BR><BR>Why can't we just accept that if you do the crime regardless of what age you are, you do the time. I think a ten year old in his right mind knows that when somebody screams that means he is hurt. IMHO, there is something psychologically wrong with you if you can't figure that out.
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Postby Misty » Sun Jun 24, 2001 6:38 pm

LOL Gargoyle! <BR><BR>Actually, PK2 brings up an interesting point. The element of psychopathy has not been introduced into this debate. Quite simply, there are people who do not have the ability to "feel" remorse at what they do. This can be treated, if spotted by a vigilent parent (and if they are not afraid of the stigma of a mental disorder).<BR><BR>It is true, there are too many cases where the juvenile criminal has come from a perfectly sound home environment. If you have done your best, then, added criminal charges are not appropriate. Then, who determines what is the legally "right" way to raise a child? That's where it gets sticky.<BR><BR>There just does not seem to be a way to force people to "do their best" when it comes to parenting. Maybe it is a good idea to require licenses (with parenting classes) prior to having children. Too bad we've become such an indulgent society that there are now public service adds telling people "you have to be the grown up; if you don't like it, tough." <BR><BR>Much as we'd like a quick fix (like blaming schools, Hollywood, dress style, whatever) the problem is within ourselves and what we are willing to tolerate as a society.<BR><BR>
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Postby Gwen » Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:49 am

<BR>It's not that I want to take an already horrifying and sad situation and make it even worse because I have a vengeful heart and can't see the forest for the trees. I am simply interested in placing blame where it most appropriately belongs. I don't believe that a ten year old child has the capability of a fully developed moral compass. I don't believe that children of that age truly understand cause and effect. I don't think that those kids "got" what they were doing. I don't think that they were capable of thinking 5 steps ahead of themselves in order to see the possible implications of their gruesome acts. I don't think they understood the difference between fantasy and reality. They were little kids!!!! When I was 10 years old I was walking into my closet on a regular basis hoping and sort of believing that Narnia lay on the other side! To me, the real kneejerk reaction in this horrifying case is locking a child up for years and years and assuming that rehabilitation isn't possible. To me, not ascribing blame on the very people who are responsible for teaching this empty vessel right from wrong is the true crime. You can point fingers all you want at Hollywood, the music industry, the video games, their peers, and even the school system. But when you boil it down, these institutions are NOT in charge of your kids. They have their own legitimate agendas. And they may not be such great influences but it is your job as a parent to be the guiding light in your child's life. Why? Because your child is born an empty slate and it's your job to fill it. Your children mirror your behavior. They learn EVERYTHING ultimately from you. Every major child psychologist understands that connection. Whether you like it or not and no matter the burden you carry in doing so. I don't find a drinking problem and a deadbeat dad a legitimate excuse.
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