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» South African Pre-Teen Busted for Prank 911 Calls from Strollerderby
Tertia over at So Close found a real parenting nightmare. A 12 year old boy in South Africa got caught [Read More]

» The boy must pay for prank call from stii.za.net
Tertia from So Close touched a very interesting subject with her post: So Close: What should the appropriate ‘punishment’ be? The story is (From news24.com): Bredasdorp - A 12-year-old boy who made seven emergency calls to several local emergency c... [Read More]

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I definitely think that the best punishment would be a very long period of community service. But I also think that parents are responsible for their children up to a certain age and that a fine should be given to them as a consequence for what their son did. I think that it shouldn't be enormous and they should be encouraged to pass the responsibility for paying it on to their son, but surely, if the boy can't be held entirely responsible due to his age, his parents need to answer for what he did?

I agree that community service and a fine that he can pay over the years would be the best punishment.
But I also think that kids that age aren't really aware of how serious this is even with punishment.
We only really understand the true consequences of our actions when we become adults and have some life experience. That's why I think a long term fine is a good idea.

As for his parents, I feel sorry for them. How could they know what their child was doing? On the other hand, they are responsible for him. Maybe a discipline kind of workshop or counseling where they can go as a family? Do those even exist?

Happens an awful lot here, I;m afraid. I read recently about a woman whose car had been crashed into by some joyriders. When the firefighters arrived to cut the severely injured woman out of her car, they were pelted with stones by the lads who were responsible and their chums. You can guess that the firemen had other things to do than chase them down, and besides, child protection has reached such a ridiculously inappropriate level of refinement here that they might easily get into trouble for attempting to make such a citizen's arrest.

With regard to this boy- I think it would be entirely appropriate for him to be sentenced, at the age he is now, to do community service with a twist- the twist is that he has to shadow a crew from each of the services he spuriously called out for an entire weekend each. Possibly he should some kind of mentor present, who can explain what's happening and why. Maybe it will slowly dawn on him what the services are for, and what job they do.

Hmmm, tough one, my first reaction is to hold the parents responsible, as they need to be accountable for the teaching of responsibility and consequences of actions to their 12 year old child... BUT you cannot always know what your child is up to every second of the day - and kids can be naughty... On the other side of the coin, this child (who is broaching his teen years and should know better) needs to know the impact his actions have had on the community as a whole. I agree with the community service idea with each of the rescue services he called on so that he can see how much they do... It might also be a good idea for him to see real ppl in need so he can start rationalizing it in his own way...

I think he needs to be held responsible. I see no reason he couldn't do community service to work off the debt he caused. It would make him realize it was not just a joke.

I firmly believe that he shouldn't get away with it and do community service of sorts - perhaps with people who have been severely burnt in fires when firemen etc couldn't get to them in time. Tough one on the parents however I was really annoyed to read an article where the mother states that she is getting angry with people phoning her all the time and life must just move on!!!! Perhaps a lesson for her as well?

First of all, why does a twelve year old need a cell phone? Am I the only one in the world that doesn't think children should have their own phones? Back to your point, He should be made to do paid community service with all the proceeds going to pay the city. When I was 14 I was in a summer work program where we actually got paid to be volunteers at a VA hospital. He should be made to start now, until at least age 24. And not just work one day a week, no sirree. Make him work hard for the money (have the number of hours/days be relative to his age). Parents should also be fined because they did not supervise their child enough. One prank call is one thing, but several? C'mon! you know that the kid was probly bragging to his friends about it. The parents should've known. Here in the States, you can actually sue a minor and have the judgement be extended until past their 18th birthday. A lawsuit would be nice....

I think the parents have to be held somewhat responsible. It was their decision to give him a cell phone (unless he got one somewhere else.) Either they have to be responsible, or we have to have a law that no one can give their 12-yr-old a cell phone, and we don't want that.

I might be a little more lenient if he had only done it once. But he did it 'several' times. He got an adreniline rush and liked it so he kept on going. It's so terrible to send a child to a facility so I would say LOTS of community service. And not just picking up trash along the highway or something, but rather like you said, dealing with the crime he committed.

I think here in the States that is a punishable offense, meaning jail time.

Secondly, a 12 year old with a cell phone. Before you know it, we'll be giving our kids cell phones before being discharged from the hospital after delivery.

First, I think he needs to pay for the cost that he caused. One prank is "shame on you" but SEVEN(!!) is "shame on me" if there is no severe punishment. 12 years old is not an adult yet, but not a baby who doesn't understand much either. I must disagree, he is fully aware of his actions I'm sure and he gets a kick out of it. Otherwise he wouldn't have done it so many times. He is one criminal in the making.

He should be put into all sorts of community work to pay off the debt, such as working with burn victims, chemo wards, elderly homes, what have you. He needs to be shown to other aspects of life that I don't think he is really "getting" it. He should be sent to juvenile prison or something.

signed,
Harsh Mommy

Definitely the boy shouldn't have access to a cell phone for awhile. Then some form of community service that shows what a real emergency can be and how crucial a quick response time is.

I agree that solid community service should be done. He should be made to volunteer to emergency services and help them out for about 50 years.

I actually think that community service is not harsh enough. I think he should serve time in a young offenders facility. This is a very serious crime, and there need to be very serious consequences. A sea rescue is not a safe thing, he put all those resucers at risk, never mind what might have happened if someone else needed them. At 12, and this not being his first offense, he should have known better.

Am I the only one who thinks that this behavior is absolutely NOT normal in a 12 year old? Guys, this is not just a prank. When I was 12 years old my pranks were to ring at someone's door and run away. My friends' too. I don't think I ever met a 12 year old capable of pulling something like this. And how did he managed to do it convincingly? How cold minded he must be. I don't really have thoughts about the punishments. I have no idea what would be good enough. And I have no idea whether it is possible to teach this kid anything. There's a serious chance that this kid will become a horrible horrible adult, punishment or not.

Geez. I can think of good reasons for a 12-year-old to have a cell phone: maybe his family chooses not to have a land line, or it's a way for 2 working parents to be quickly available to their kid. (And if he has had problems in the past, I would say hurrah to those parents trying to keep in touch with him as closely as possible.) No, of course I don't think the parents should be fined or jailed or sued (unless somehow they have some ridiculous history of neglect). It's impossible to be truly responsible for the actions of another person, even a child! Honestly I can't pretend to be wise enough to know *what* should happen here, but locking anybody up is not a good solution. A payable fine combined with community service is probably a good idea, although in the US those programs are usually set up just to kill time rather than to really teach. And for those who are angry that the child got an "adrenaline rush" making the calls -- well, at that age kids are often trying out grownup stuff, without access to real skills or actions. If this kid is exposed now to what really happens in rescue work, I wonder if the "punishment" will help him grow up into a person who really cares about others and maybe even helps them in life-threatening situations? Handled with sensitivity instead of only anger (though anger is justified), he could grow into a real gift to his community. Yes, there probably has to be a consequence that the child works to accomplish. But just like with toddlers, one way to help him avoid making this mistake again is to find out what underlying need was being served by making these calls. (Yes, he may not be fully conscious of what that need is. And obviously he chose a bad way to meet it! But there was a need nonetheless. A need to participate in the grown-up activities? Feeling like the "spotlight" is not on him now that he's a little older?) Helping him get that need met, while completely emphasizing the seriousness of this incident, will go far toward preventing related future incidents.

Oh and P.S. -- I agree that this may be completely abnormal behavior. In that case, however, say if there were underlying mental illness, I don't see what good it does him (or his parents or even his community) to just write him off as "cold-minded" and assume he's going to be a "horrible" adult. Mental and emotional problems can be addressed! We would be compassionate if he were ill and much younger; if he is ill now, why not help him get well (and SOON!). Truly, there have been well-documented cases of children becoming violent and "horrible" due to hormone problems or tumor growth etc. Not saying he has these problems, but good grief, why not check these things out before just writing off someone else's child as a willful sociopath.

Well, my thoughts are he's 12 years old. And most 12 year olds these days would not only know that doing something like this is wrong wrong wrong, they also understand the media attention it would bring. He should be punished: he should have to do community service with a value slapped on to it until a certain amount of the debt tax payers incurred on his behalf is paid off.

As for the parents, harder call. The reality is, no one can 'supervise' their child 24/7. Especially a pre-teen. Anyone who thinks it's possible is seriously kidding themselves. And cell phones do serve an important purpose in a lot of families: it lets parents contact their kids whereever they are and plan logistics of family life (pick ups/drop offs, etc.) They can block cell phone use to certain phone numbers, though.

My question: For those leaning towards 'leniency' or treating it as a prank, would your opinion change if a rescuer had been seriously injured or died in the search and rescue efforts? And does someone have to die for it to be more than a prank?

P.S. to E at Purple Pen:

Although I'm an American, I'm currently living in the UK with my family. And I have to say, I have been frequently horrified by the number of incidents where youths attack firefighters who are called out to put out fires they set, injuries they cause, etc. At home, firefighters are treated like heros; I've never ever heard of this kind of behaviour. But here... I used to read about it practically weekly, especially up in Glasgow (when we were living in Edinburgh).

Very sad.

I do like the idea of community service for the 12 year old but I also think someone needs to be responsible for the cost of the emergency services. The monetary costs, that is (though really, if someone had lost their life because emergency services were unable to respond to them, I wonder if a criminal charge would be applicable).

I can feel some sympathy for the parents as I can't say it would never happen to me and I hope they are embarrassed beyond words. You can't watch a 12 year old 24/7 but you also don't need to provide him with a cell phone. I would make it their responsibility to repay the city and they can take it upon themselves if they want to force their son to repay them at some point.

Thats my opinion.


My older daughter's twelve, so I just asked my daughter what she thought. She says she thinks he's "a stupid arrogant prat" and that she'd be ashamed to know him, and that he should be fined and pay it back when he's older. So there you are, FWIW.

On another point, I just wonder if some of the commentators who're outraged at a 12 year old having a cell phone only have much younger children? My daughter goes to school on her own by train every day (we're in the UK), and she has a phone for the very good reason that I want her to be able to get in touch with me if something goes wrong. My younger daughter is 8, and I personally wouldn't dream of letting her have a phone yet - children grow up an enormous amount in those few years. Which is why I (and my daughter, presumably) think this boy's behaviour was so out of line - a 12 year old is quite old enough to have a personal sense of moral responsibility and to be able to distinguish fantasy from reality. Some 12 year olds are supporting their families in SA, aren't they?

Community service with a record that can be cleared if he stays out of trouble.

Part of his service should be helping those who do emergency services, so he can learn what those people really do. I would say lose the cell phone except for emergency cases, but that doesn't really help, does it?

The parents should not be punished. That's just stupid. What? You want to make the parents suffer because the kid did a prank? I don't know, that's just taking it a bit far.

I see no problem with a kid having a cell for emergencies...

This is a kid who needs some help. I agree that he needs to have consequences. Not knowing him, I am not sure what they should be, but I do think he needs punishment. Definitely community service as a start. And he needs some counseling. No kid does something like this without something really wrong. Maybe once, but seven times is a big cry for help. Or a big flag, whatever way you want to see it. But intervention is definitely needed.

My kids are little, but my sister's kids are all grown and not one ever did something even close to this destructive during their teen years. They did stupid things to themselves, but nothing this destructive to others.

My kids are 9. They have cell phones. They are in a lot of dance and theater productions where rehearsals finish at odd times and I need for them to have a way to call me when they are ready to be picked up. We also live in a rather remote area and they have horses they ride around our farm. The phones are for their safety. If they fall off, I need a way for them to contact me. Otherwise, if the horse comes home with no rider, I have no way of knowing where the kids are. This way I know instantly.

That said, this kid is clearly abusing his phone and it needs to be taken away and he needs to be punished for this abuse. Community services is an excellent way to accomplish this.

I think that what the parents should be held accountable for is absolutely guaranteeing that their son makes it to every second of his community service. As for the boy, his obvious need for an "adrenaline rush" could be satisfied with heavy-duty work somehow helping the kind of people he could have denied that kind of emergency help to. Afterwards, he could be ordered to talk about his experiences at various area schools. He's young enough to not only be properly punished, but to turn this into an eye-opening, possibly inspiring experience for him. Maybe a bored, thrill-seeking preteen could be turned into a risk-taking, fearless EMT or doctor.

Or maybe I'm all wet. I know I'm never letting my daughter have that much freedom cobined with free time on her hands!

First, he should have to do community service at a firestation or ambulance. Make him wash the ambulances, clean the floors, re-stock supplies (under supervision, of course!), all the while being able to hear the calls that come into the station, so he understands how many people *really* need their help.

Second, he should have to follow that with community service at a hospital or rehabilitation centre. He could be like a candy-striper (do they still have those?) in the ER, or help with non-hazardous cleanup or running errands for the docs & nurses.

Third, the parents should incur some sort of fine (sorry, they ARE responsible for their 12 yo child), which should then be passed on to the child. The parents and kid should work out some sort of re-payment plan, where 90% of his allowance goes to repaying his parents. Or they split the fine. Or something similar. I don't think the parents should bear the entire costs of the kid's "prank" but unless they can prove that their kid has been acting out for years and they have done everything possible to correct his behaviour, I believe parents are responsible. If my non-existant kid broke another kid's nose, I'd have to pay the hospital costs. If I broke another kid's nose, and my parents had to pay the hospital costs, they would have made me pay it back, either in money or work around the house or something.

Why does a 12 year old need a phone?
Parents...please STOP giving your CHILDREN cell phones for their own private use. It is widespread & completely absurd.

Well... While I can see giving a child a phone for soem reasons I do believe that the parents need to be responsible for it's correct usage. And if he can't be responsible he shoudl lose the phone and be better supervised by his parents.

Twelve is plenty old enough to know better. He should be required to do community service AND he should ALSO be required to pay back ALL the money that his prank cost -- even if it means he'll be working his little butt off until he's twenty one.

I feel that here needs to be a consequence for his actions that matches the crime - I love the community service with the different areas he abused. But, I'd even take it a step further. There needs to be some letter-writing going on to those guys and gals who were put in harms' way (or at least taken advantage of). A nice open letter to the community would be nice, too, since it was taxpayer money that sported his little game.

And, yes, I agree that part of this responsibility falls on the parent. They gave the kid the phone, and I'm not even going to debate whether that is right or wrong (although I know at least here in the States you can get phones for kids that only dial three pre-programmed numbers...do they have that same plan over there?), but the fact is that they are his PARENTS and need to step up as well. Take the phone away from him, and apply some sort of monetary restitution to the family - whether the parents or the child pays it back is entirely up to them.

Oh, that is NOT just a prank. That kid is a little shit! Unless he is developmentally delayed, a 12 year old should know better. People risked their lives responding to these calls. My outraged inner bitch is glad the parents are being hassled - that will give them incentive to impress upon Junior the importance of not being an asshole.
Having said that, I really don't have any good suggestions regarding what to do with him now. Community service is a joke - does anyone know a kid who actually learned a lesson from community service (other than the fact that little or no service is actually required)?
The offense is serious enough to warrant jail time, but really, the only thing he'll learn in jail is how to be a good criminal. The one thing that does need to happen is to stop giving him all this media attention. I'll bet he is loving every minute of it.

To Allison: you are correct, my children are small. I am sure I have no idea how to raise a 12 year old. There are a few ideas I have (which may be very like the ideas I had about healthy eating/TV/ etc. before I had these kids. That is: talking out of my ass). I assume, when my kids are that age, if they need a cell phone for certain activities (I certainly agree she should have one travelling alone on a train), they would either get one with limited usage (then again - isn't emergency services one of the preprogrammed numbers?? May have shot myself in the foot) or I would at least be the nosy mom who double checks the phone calls in and out to be certain who she is talking to and for how long.

For that matter, and I am not looking at you specifically, there are other things a child could do with the phone that a parent would obviously be responsible for: driving up the bill for example. If you are going to give a kid that kind of privledge/responsibility/freedom I believe you need to be sure they can handle it and you have to understand that if they are less than responsible, you are going to be the one held liable. Its a risk. Again, I am speaking of the parents of this wayward child, not yours who is obviously mature enough for the responsibility (just by her answer to what she thought of the story!).

I don't have a problem with kids and cell phones. I think there are a lot of circumstances when they would be beneficial for safety reasons. In Australia there is a phone where the parents (online) can enter in the only phone numbers a child can call, and can restrict those calls to certain number of minutes or whatever. They can grant other numbers as a "reward" at specific times. They can (online) actually tell the phone not to receive or make calls during certain hours (eg school hours, not after a certain time at night). My niece has one and is allowed to call me, her Mum, Dad or Grandma only. She called her Mum once when she was being bullied after school, she has rung when she needed to be picked up from a friend's house, she has rung her Dad when she was lonely (he works away a lot). I have no problem with that. This 12 year old would have found another phone to use if he is that way inclined.

I'm sure he had no real concept of just how bad his actions were (probably thought of the rescues as a sort of TV show playing out). I think community service with the services involved would help. I think the parents have probably been punished enough with the publicity, I'm sure they are just sick over it and I'm sure they are not letting their son off that lightly.

I think it depends on the dynamics in the family. Of course, some sets of parents would be horrified and mortified and entirely willing and able to engage with their child and provide understanding of why these repeated actions were inappropriate and should never, ever happen again. OTOH, here in the US, I have seen plenty of parents, sometimes prominent and privileged ones, whose viewpoint is, "My child can do no wrong," and who would themselves not understand the seriousness of the situation, and might even encourage the child, directly or indirectly, to tune out the efforts of anyone who attempted to intervene. I have also seen children younger than 12 with significant antisocial tendencies who would do things like make these calls simply for the twisted enjoyment of making adults jump through hoops, with no apparent conscience. Sad, but true. It is also possible that a child who keeps calling "help" may be in some disturbed manner actually trying to call for help. I think I would ask that the parents and child be evaluated and further action based on the results of that, assuming a decent professional can do the evaluation. I agree that an average child of 12 is plenty old enough, given appropriate home training, to understand that these repeated calls are wrong. I don't have any problem with the parents being fined, or with the child being asked to contribute by service hours to reimbursement. If the child was 18, no, but 12? I think the parents can reasonably be expected to assume some responsibility here.

I definitely DO NOT think the parents should be punished. The embarrasment, all the court dates, lawyers fees, etc are punishment enough for them. Some will say because they didn't keep a 24/7 watch on the boy that it's their fault. Not so. I would feel that a 12 year old would know between right and wrong enough not to do something like that. Alot of families have both parents that work and they can't be home 24/7. Latch key anyone? I don't have a kid that old, but I can understand the situation. Now if they're sitting in the livingroom while the kid was in another room picking they're nose while the kid is playing a prank I might feel differently.

ANYWAY, I do think that the kid deserves to be punished. Fines won't help since the kid has no money now it only goes to punish the parents again. I think a LONG bout of community service to "pay" off his debt should be established. At least 2 years.

On a side note over here in the states when a person calls 911 we know the phone number and address even if it's a cell usually. It pops up on our computer screen when the call comes through. I take it that system is not in place there?

I know I did something at 12 that I am totally ashamed of now (and I wasn't developmentally delayed I don't think). I just could think through the consequences and got caught up in group mentality. I think he deserves a chance. Show him the consequences through community service etc. some payment etc.

You know, I'm not a parent, but I am learning all about parenting. I'm working with a book called The Power of Positive Parenting (btw, that link is to the whole book, free for download and printing), and in the book it is stressed over and over that when children are reprimanded for unacceptable behavior they should be given consequences to change the behavior - they shouldn't be punished for punished sake. It doesn't work, it doesn't give positive attention to good behavior. When we are punitive with children we don't teach them to behave properly. Children need to learn to behave, not be punished in ways that doesn't teach. So, obviously, my vote - teach.

As an employer, I was legally accountable for my employee's actions. As a parent, I believe I should be accountable in some way for my children's behavior.

Here, the parents should pay a fine. The boy should be held accountable to two parties- his parents, who can determine what action they would like to take with him, and the government. The latter should assign him a project, such as writing an essay on the role search and rescue teams play in society, the number of rescues/year, and the associated costs. Plus, he should be required to do some type of community service work, since he has essentially "stolen" from the community.

(For example, when a teenageer defaced a local park dedicated to WW II veterans, he was required to watch "Saving Private Ryan" and also write a paper on World War II. I don't know to what extent his parents were held accountable. But this same judge will, if parents fail to show up for their child's court date, send a police officer to their place of employment to get them, rather than simply reschedule the court date. This has had a positive effect on parents' behavior. Perhaps the parents of the boy to whom you refer should be required also to be involved in community service, if the mother's attitude is portrayed accurately.)

Pay off a fine until he is 24??? Are you serious??? At 24, not only did I get married, but I could not remember even HALF of my twelfth year of life! How on earth would he be able to do things like attend college or save money or pay his way as an adult if he is paying off a fine for so long? You are talking about an eight year sentence for a childhood crime. Absurd.

I live in a city. By the time my future kids are 12, something like 14 years will have passed, so the idea of cell phones will probably be antiquated. Right now though, hells yeah my 12-yr-old would have a phone b/c if they were anything like their father, theyd already be riding the busses all over the city.

I do remember enough about being 12 (and a kid in general) to know that it is so easy to just do bad things b/c you want to no matter what your parents are like. Had I commited a crime like this boy, sorry, but it would absolutely NOT been my parents fault and they should not have been punished. I did commit crimes as an adolescent and my parents had nothing to do with it. Lockdown has almost never proven to be effective with children (or adults) and often makes a problem worse. Im all for extended community service (until high school graduation is fine with me, which is already a six year sentence), prefferably within the field of rescue work. Someone suggested washing fire trucks and the like - sounds good to me :D

The important thing to remember is that, yes, he is 12 and should know better, but 12 is still a CHILD. Children do not think things through like adults do. We hear about kids having sex at 12 and flip the fuck out, yelling about how they are way too young, and if an older person is involved, how they are a pig and should go to jail, but have a 12 year old commit a crime and all of a sudden we want the kid to be tried as an adult! Double standard anyone?

Okay, so as far as the 12 year old having a cell phone, I do think that's ridiculous. I know that there are extremely involved children that need to be tracked on a daily basis. There are the 'Me-Go' phones (or whatever they are called) that only allows a child to call the three programmed numbers in it. In fact, only has 3 buttons. I would suggest that to anyone wanting to get their child a cell phone. I do think that the parents should be held accountable, but only somewhat, and only enough to make said child's life miserable for a very long time. What he did was very very wrong, and in the US, we probably wouldn't hesitate to file a lawsuit against the parents or child for holding up the emergency services if we were the ones in need. I think that parents sometimes give their children too much leeway, assuming the trust factor. I know as a teenager, I sometimes tested that trust, and would expect that of teenagers everywhere. I feel that community service would be the best route for punishment, but not happy easy community service. It should be hard, dirty, work and should last until he's 16 or 17 and hold the parents accountable for THAT. Hopefully the boy grows up to be a functioning member of society with a realization that such stupid things are not funny.

My thoughts are that after the first time, the parents should have stepped in and prevented it from happening again. Even the third and fourth times, part of the fault lies with the parents for not appropriately disciplining the child. Also, they should have instilled in his what responsibility comes with the cell phone... It seems like the parents were falling down on the job in a few areas to begin with. Perhaps the family should do community service TOGETHER to help teach the boy that when you commit crimes like this, everyone is made to suffer. It wouldn't impose financial burden on the parents, but it would give something back to the community.

I completely agree that a LONG period of difficult and relevant community service is in order here, and possibly some kind of fine - though more for the symbolism (to the child) of having to repay the money, not to bankrupt him for the next ten years. I like the idea of having to write a paper or do a research project as well.

As far as the cell phone goes though, I think we're losing the forest for the trees here a bit though. Whether or not a 12 year old had a cell phone is completely irrelevant. I'm sure his parents also possess a landline, and he could certainly have called from there, from a pay phone, from a friend's phone, from anywhere. Children who want to get into trouble will find a way to do so, the actual implement they end up using is less the issue. There are plenty of legitimate reasons a 12 year old should/should not have a phone, and plenty of illegitimate things they could do with one if they did have it. It's the parents' call whether their individual child is responsible enough or in need enough to warrant one. These parents either didn't know or didn't want to know that their child was capable of something like this, and that is where the question of parental culpability lies. Blaming access to a telephone line seems to me like blaming the car when a drunk driver causes an accident. It's the implement, NOT the cause.

For me, the problem here is if the kid doesn't get that there are consequences for his actions at 12, he is going to be one of those kids at 18 to do bigger pranks. It reminds me of an 18 year-old that through a frozen turkey out of his passenger car window, while on the highway and then laughed when he saw the turkey blow through the windshield of the car behind him. Seriously injuring that driver.

Even one and two years olds need to know that there are consequences.

punishment is definitely in order- and i think public service is a brilliant idea!

I do not agree with making the parents accountable and feel that at 12 the boy is old enough to be held accountable. However like others have said it was afterall a prank and kids down the ages have done that sort of thing. I think the should be made to attend a real accident with the emergency services and go to a lecture about why it is wrong to prank call people. He should also get a juvenile court sentence like probation for example.

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Hiya,

Well first off I would like to say that yes community service but it should be helping the agencies that wasted their time looking for someone lost at sea. Maybe cleaning the rec room in the firehall, washing their pots something that gives back. A course that is offered through our fire departments lets a person know that with every 911 prank call someone could have lost their life because the stats show that if a real emergency call came in someone could have lost their life because maybe help did not get to that person in time. There is no right answer, it has to be something that definitly impacts this child or you are not helping the problem. My twins are 16 - when they are grounded if it operates from electricity or batteries they can't use it.

Good luck all

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