Parental Responsibility to anti-social behaviour.
A woman was on discussing the carry on of teenagers on her estate, decrying the behaviour of young boys and girls as they drink and take drugs and drive stolen cars and generally behave in a very anti-social way. This lady was quite calm, resigned almost, but she made the point that should anyone approach the parents of these children in the majority of the cases the parents will deny their children's involvement. Indeed they could be quite aggressive of hearing about their children's antics. Thus, shielded and protected, unchecked and unfettered, the anti-social carry-on continues.
But recently a judge here in Ireland handed out an order to the father of a delinquent, a young boy who thieved on a regular basis. This man was a member of the Roma Community and the boy in question had been arrested many many times. Fed up, the judge finally ordered that should the boy be arrested again it would be the father who went to jail in his stead.
It this the way forward? Will this make a dent in anti-social behaviour? If feral kids don't give a damn about society or neighbours, perhaps seeing their mam or dad being carted off might make them mend their ways. Perhaps being faced with jail time will FORCE parents to care where their children are and what they get up to.
Or is this a step too far? Is it shifting the blame? Can parents of teenagers BE held accountable for their child's actions?
I'm curious. What do we think?
Labels: Buck stops here.