Children's Crime, Parent's Responsibility?

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Children's Crime, Parent's Responsibility?

Unread postby Rhiannon » Fri Jul 11, 2003 3:22 am

Parents to be Charged in a Vehicular Manslaughter Case

To summarize the case (the link isn't a big read), a teenage girl went drag-racing, lost control, rammed into normal traffic, killed her boyfriend and an innocent. She is being charged with vehicular manslaughter (along with the other drag racers).

Her parents, however, are being charged as well in this case, for letting their daughter drive despite the fact that she was an unsafe driver, AND letting her drive their BMW which had bald tires and bad brakes.

I don't mean for this thread to focus on this case alone, just to start with it. But the topic is this: where does a child's error become a parent's responsibility? Should we be charging parents for the negligent behavior of their children? Should there be an ethical line, where a parent's responsibility ends and a child's begins?
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Unread postby Lion's Mane » Fri Jul 11, 2003 3:34 am

If a child is willfully risking their own life, or those of other people by performing activities both illegal and wrong, I do think the parents should be blamed. We live in a society where parents are afraid to talk and help their children. Therefore, perhaps if they realize their child screwed up, and the parents get a record because of it, perhaps they'll start paying a bit more attention.

This case could quite possibly set a precedent. I was raised in an Italian family, where if you did wrong, you were punished accordingly. Some people may think that such punishments are wrong, and most of the time, they'd be right. However, whenever I screwed up, my parents would talk to me about it, to get me to not do it again. That doesn't seem to happen very often anymore. In light, I have a friend whom has a 1 year old child now. There were times I'd hear her yelling at her child to stop crying. Sadly, I fear that child's development down the road.

Everyone makes mistakes, that's for certain. However, parents should realize that when they have a 16 year old child, they're not concerned with road safety (for the most part). Freely giving your son or daughter your car (which also was deemed unsafe) is asking for trouble, and the parents were as much at fault as the child.
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Unread postby Megan » Fri Jul 11, 2003 9:07 am

We currently live in a very independent society. We got a stupid girl who knew the consequences and did not consider them or perhaps she was too stupid to even think about it. The girl was 16. She was old enough to accept responsibilty of her actions. She should have known the risks and now she should pay for her crimes. She took the lives of two people becase of her stupidity. Why blame the parents? That is like a 16 year old boy old enough to know the risks of owning a gun and firing them at his friends and killing them and the public blaming the parents. Why is this? The girl was obviously a reckless person. It is not really required for a parent to continue holding hands with a fully competent teenage girl. They should have tried to set her straight but did she listen? The car was also bad. The girl was plain stupid. It people like the people that are accusing the two parents of everything that the the daughter should have been responsible for that makes me sick. The girl killed two people on her own account. She should accept full charges whether it be life, death, or several years in jail, but does her death or even imprisonment justify or pay back the lives that she took?
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Unread postby Asellas » Fri Jul 11, 2003 11:09 am

I believe that this subject has to be looked into more closely. It can differ sometimes, as if the parent has raised the child well, not spoilt it, showed the child manners and important skills like this that help you interact with people more politely and then the child gain more friends and respect.

Most parents who show their children how to behave and be polite and sensible in this world will usually lead that child to be a good persom but sometimes the child will turn to crime and so the parents cannot be blamed for harsh and inhumane acts the child does.

But if the parents haven't shown the child encouragement, manners, or shown him/her how to behave properly...then the parent can be blamed at least 90% for not showing the children (Child) how to be a nice person for society then they shouldn't be called parents.
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Unread postby English_Druid » Fri Jul 11, 2003 1:13 pm

It is up to parents to bring their children into this world and make them aware of whats right and wrong. Yes parents nowadays are loosing control of their children and thus incidents like this are happening.
I think in this case the parents should receive blame, they where aware of their daughters recklessness and risk taking and yet did nothing to stop her. So IMO a childs error becomes the parents responsibility, when the parents may be aware of the dangerous or illegal activities that their child is involved with and then does nothing to change or stop them. I beleive that this omission is enough to mount partly to the actions of the child, and I just hope that parents will learn from the judges sentence, and maybe try to increase the control of their kids in the future.
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Unread postby Rhiannon » Fri Jul 11, 2003 6:29 pm

Megan wrote:The girl was 16. She was old enough to accept responsibilty of her actions. She should have known the risks and now she should pay for her crimes. She took the lives of two people becase of her stupidity. Why blame the parents? That is like a 16 year old boy old enough to know the risks of owning a gun and firing them at his friends and killing them and the public blaming the parents.


First of all, she is going to pay for her crimes. The parents are only being charged on misdemeanor accounts; the girl is being charged on a felony, and being tried as an adult.

The reasons why the parents are to blame is because that they knew she was a reckless driver, but permitted her to drive their car (which was not safe to drive). That is not akin to your example of a sixteen year old boy. What it would be akin to, is the parents handing that 16 year old boy a gun, when they knew he knew how to use it and had been talking about how much he wanted to kill his teachers at school.

This case happens to be one where there is a direct relational responsibility. The parents, arguably, gave their daughter a license to kill. A car is a deadly weapon; an unsafe car even more so. And the parents were the ones responsible for allowing her to drive the car, despite her driving record, and despite the car's condition.

Now, in other cases, the line of responsibility isn't so clear... I hope to bring some more in soon.
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Unread postby Sun jian » Fri Jul 11, 2003 6:41 pm

I, as a father, would take full responsiblity for my children's actions until they're of age. If they commit a crime at 16 the parents should be more at fault for not keeping better track of their kids. At 18, that's another story. I believe if parents taught kids from the start that there is no good in killing people or stealing or or any other crime, then they won't do such wrong. Now when they move out and are adults it becomes their responsibility period. However, if a kid leaves home as a minor he can't blame his dad for influencing him if he commits a crime. Now if there is evidence that shows it was someone outside the kid's family, like a gang affiliation, that's another matter and both the kid and the parents are responsible. Justice is difficult but I think until kids move out or come of age, their parents are the main influence of their actions and should be held accountable regardless. Kids aren't independent and they don't act w\o reason. When I was a kid I was too damn scared to pick up a gun, let alone use it. :wink:
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Unread postby HSBushido » Fri Jul 11, 2003 6:55 pm

That is like a 16 year old boy old enough to know the risks of owning a gun and firing them at his friends and killing them and the public blaming the parents.


There are cases that the whole incident could've been avoided. Using your example and the case above, it would like parents giving their reckness boy a gun and then he goes on a rampage.

Parents should be responsible if it is their bad/stupid decisons that triggered the accidents. Parents should not responsible for everything the child been since they can't control everything.
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Unread postby Wizardman » Sun Jul 13, 2003 12:33 am

HSBushido wrote:There are cases that the whole incident could've been avoided. Using your example and the case above, it would like parents giving their reckness boy a gun and then he goes on a rampage.

Parents should be responsible if it is their bad/stupid decisons that triggered the accidents. Parents should not responsible for everything the child been since they can't control everything.


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Unread postby Boushin Dragonfly » Sun Jul 13, 2003 8:25 am

There are some crimes that, when committed, can fall into the lap of the parents as well as the children.

For example, let's go to something that has touched me personally: school shootings. This is indeed the parents' fault, for several reasons.

1. No -good- parent is so lax as to allow their child to come into possession of a firearm, and then take said firearm to school.

2. No -good- parent is so out of touch with their children that they do not see something explosive on the horizon. MY mother saw it, and she took steps to rectify it.

Children are children until they can depart their parents' care, and when certain things happen, the parents are responsible, such as in the case of that type of murder.

However, a child who kills people because he's a pyromaniac and sets something on fire, is a child who needs severe professional help. On the first offense, the parents could maybe be spared, but not after.
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