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Thoughts on the Parental Responsibility Act
Eighteen cases, in 1990, resulted in a parent serving time in
jail for crimes committed by his or her child. In my opinion, I
feel that parents should not be held responsible if his or her
child commits a crime. There are a couple of reasons why I feel
this is not a good law. First, I believe no parent can keep
track of their son or daughter 24 hours a day. In a real world
parents have far more to do than to monitor their child every
minute of the day to make sure he or she is not breaking the law
of some sort. Parents are an important role in a child?s life but
they also have to meet the demands of going to work, attending the
house, and to have a free moments of relaxation. Besides this a
adolescent does not want a nagging parent to know every detail and
thought of what they are doing, with whom, why, when and where.
Secondly I feel that by setting the law that parents serve
the time for their child?s actions goes against a valuable lesson
that is taught to a youngster from when they were young. When I
was growing up, I remember to this day that you are suppose to
take responsibility for your actions. The parental responsibility
law, goes against this valuable teaching. This law does not teach
the adolescent that as becoming a adult they have to accept
certain responsibilities. Instead, it shows that the blame can be
shifted to the not guilty person. Most adolescents today that I
have seen want to be adults by the way they dress, talk, and act.
If they want to be treated as adults then should be able to handle
to take responsibility if they made the wrong choice and broke the
law. Another point is some teenagers might commit a crime to
spite their parents whatever the reason may be.
I also feel that such a law would raise a whole set of
problems. Most parents would be in jail, because most adolescents
do in fact break the law in some way, whether it be underage
drinking or trespassing. Adolescents would be have to be raised
by a relative and goes against the ideas of being a good parent
that this law aims for . A good parent is always there and is not
suppose to be in jail having someone else raise their child.
I do not think this law would work in Worcester,
Massachusetts. As I mentioned above adolescents will use this law
to their advantage. Their is no question in my mind that most
adolescents from when I was growing up, to last year that I worked
with from the Willis program would make demands on their parents.
If such demands are denied, the youth could then turn the tables
so they have the control to threaten the parent of being thrown
behind bars. If an adolescent is stubborn and desperate enough
they will do this.
Another reason why this would not work is because I am sure
alot of parents would fight such a law. Instead of the adolescent
youth of being afraid of parental punishment and control, the
tables will be turned and roles would be reversed.
In conclusion, I feel the parental responsibility law is not
a good law. This law does not teach the adolescent to take
responsibility for his or her actions. Instead the parents have
to serve the time for the law they broke. I also believe this law
would make parents fear their child, with such power of placing a
parent in jail by their actions in their hands.
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