Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Should parents be held responsible for their kid's actions? At what age does it end?

Posted by   + Show Post

12-Year-Old School Shooter's Grieving Parents Could Be Forced to Pay for Deaths

by Jeanne Sager

sparks middle schoolPolice are slowly shifting through the horror of the Sparks Middle School shooting that claimed the lives of hero teacher Michael Landsberry and the 12-year-old shooter. Chilling 911 calls have surfaced featuring the panicked voices of young kids from the Nevada school. And now we may have two people forced to pay for this tragedy: the shooter's parents.

Of course, they're already paying an emotional price. Their son is dead, and what's more, he's responsible for a national tragedy. But criminal charges could be coming to make their nightmare that much more intense.

Police have identified the unidentified shooter's gun as a Ruger 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, and authorities say they believe the 12-year-old got that gun from his parents.

We could talk about responsible gun ownership until we're blue in the face here, and the fact remains that responsible gun owners lock up their guns so their kids can't get hold of them. Period.

But how long can parents be expected to keep their kids on the straight and narrow? To know everything it is they might get up to?

This was not a 7-year-old. This was a seventh grader!

We've all known devious 12-year-olds smart enough to find a key and unlock a gun cabinet. If that's what happened, if this kid snuck that gun out of the house, is it fair to hold his parents responsible? Is it realistic to have expected them to check his backpack every morning like you would a kindergartner?

What if he was a bit older? Thirteen instead of 12? How about 16?

As parents, we are often looked at by non-parents and expected to "get control of that kid," but every parent has experienced that flash of fear that their "control" over their kid won't last forever, CAN'T last forever. We can start them on the right path and give gentle nudges back toward it, but in the end, we can only do so much.

A tragedy has happened at Sparks Middle School, and right now we are all looking for someone to blame. But blaming them for what their child did won't undo what has been done.

It would behoove us all to remember that this boy's parents are already suffering. They've already paid the ultimate price.

Should parents be held responsible for their kid's actions? At what age does it end?

by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 8:32 AM
Replies (31-37):
Liz_Rocket
by on Oct. 25, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Quoting LindaClement:

If you own a bull and you don't fence it in, yes, it is your responsibility to pay for 100% of the damage it does to anyone or anything.

It isn't 'really' a yes or no question because, as much as you'd like to oversimplify the issue, it's complex.

It's complex because we're not talking about stupid animals that can't open the doors. And because, for better or for worse, society has accepted the long slide into unsupervised, unchaperoned, unwatched and uncontrolled children at large at younger and younger ages ... all with lots of parental guilt/apologia thrown in to make the conversation stop as quickly as possible: but we HAVE to work, but in today's economy, but we have no choice, but everyone does it, but it's supposed to be fine, but I have a long commute, but, but, but....

Yeah: unsupervised children at large, for whatever reason are outside the control of their parents.

If they're allowed out there, who can enforce any kind of responsibility on someone who can't possibly have any control of what happens 'out there'?

Quoting Liz_Rocket:
Quoting LindaClement:

How can you be 'responsible' for something you have absolutely no way of having any control over?

How can you be responsible for what you cannot start, stop or slow down?

Quoting Liz_Rocket:


We're not talking about control, Linda. We're talking about responsibility. No matter how much the parents "cut themselves out" of their children's lives, they are still responsible for them. In the case of my hypothetical question regarding the 12 year old who broke a window while his parents were at work, do you feel the parents should not be held responsible for damages since they were at work and had no control over their child's actions?



If someone had an animal they couldn't control and it hurt someone or destroyed property, the owner would still be responsible. If someone couldn't control losing their job, they'd still be responsible for paying their bills. There's quite a few things in life we are resposible for that we have no control over.

The scenario involving the child breaking a window and the responsibility of the parents for restitution is really just a yes or no question, Linda. You seem to have a great deal of difficulty answering it.

I will pose it again. If a child breaks a neighbors window while his parents are at work, do you feel the parents would be reasonable in refusing to fix it since they were at work and had no control over their child's actions?



Im not asking you what society thinks. I'm asking you what you think. In the very SPECIFIC instance of a 12 year old child who breaks a neighbor's window while his parents are at work, do you PERSONALLY feel its reasonable for his parents to refuse to make restitution because they were at work and therefore had no control over his actions?



elevator_chaos
by on Oct. 25, 2013 at 1:09 AM

If a 12-year-old boy raped a 12-year-old girl the state could hold the parents legally responsible for any pregnancy that might occur through child support, but we wouldn't classify the parents as sex offenders. Therefore, the parents should be held liable for medical expenses etc. but shouldn't be charged for murder or assault. This of course is just my opinion.

Brycensmommy85
by Member on Oct. 25, 2013 at 1:23 AM

If the parents are neglectful, abusive or other wise neglegent then yes. For example if they do not lock up their guns then yes they should be held accountable for a minor getting a hold of a firearm. Otherwise no, you can be a great parent and have a bad kid, it happens.

lyranightshade
by Bronze Member on Oct. 25, 2013 at 1:28 AM
It depends on the crime and the individual child. There are mitigating factors in each of these cases and since I'm not a licensed child psychologist, I couldn't even begin to imagine what all may be involved, how culpable they are in the transgressions if their minor children.
That's why juvenile court is so convoluted. I'm glad I'm not a judge in juvenile or family court.
Imho, when dealing with crimes of children that are *especially if this magnitude) it should be on a case by case basis.
LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Oct. 25, 2013 at 1:47 PM

And I keep saying, over and over, 'how?'

How are they supposed to be held responsible for what they do not control?

Here's some more complexity: prove it was THAT 12yo and not someone else entirely, or someone who lives there. Innocent until PROVEN guilty, right?

If there is actual proof it was actually that specific 12yo, that specific 12yo (at large while parents are elsewhere for protracted periods) is responsible for that 12yo's behaviour. Since they're 'free' to be unaccompanied and unmonitored -ergo: responsible for themselves--it's the only rational answer... Nothing at all to do with the parents.

Quoting Liz_Rocket:

Quoting LindaClement:

If you own a bull and you don't fence it in, yes, it is your responsibility to pay for 100% of the damage it does to anyone or anything.

It isn't 'really' a yes or no question because, as much as you'd like to oversimplify the issue, it's complex.

It's complex because we're not talking about stupid animals that can't open the doors. And because, for better or for worse, society has accepted the long slide into unsupervised, unchaperoned, unwatched and uncontrolled children at large at younger and younger ages ... all with lots of parental guilt/apologia thrown in to make the conversation stop as quickly as possible: but we HAVE to work, but in today's economy, but we have no choice, but everyone does it, but it's supposed to be fine, but I have a long commute, but, but, but....

Yeah: unsupervised children at large, for whatever reason are outside the control of their parents.

If they're allowed out there, who can enforce any kind of responsibility on someone who can't possibly have any control of what happens 'out there'?

Quoting Liz_Rocket:
Quoting LindaClement:

How can you be 'responsible' for something you have absolutely no way of having any control over?

How can you be responsible for what you cannot start, stop or slow down?

Quoting Liz_Rocket:


We're not talking about control, Linda. We're talking about responsibility. No matter how much the parents "cut themselves out" of their children's lives, they are still responsible for them. In the case of my hypothetical question regarding the 12 year old who broke a window while his parents were at work, do you feel the parents should not be held responsible for damages since they were at work and had no control over their child's actions?



If someone had an animal they couldn't control and it hurt someone or destroyed property, the owner would still be responsible. If someone couldn't control losing their job, they'd still be responsible for paying their bills. There's quite a few things in life we are resposible for that we have no control over.

The scenario involving the child breaking a window and the responsibility of the parents for restitution is really just a yes or no question, Linda. You seem to have a great deal of difficulty answering it.

I will pose it again. If a child breaks a neighbors window while his parents are at work, do you feel the parents would be reasonable in refusing to fix it since they were at work and had no control over their child's actions?



Im not asking you what society thinks. I'm asking you what you think. In the very SPECIFIC instance of a 12 year old child who breaks a neighbor's window while his parents are at work, do you PERSONALLY feel its reasonable for his parents to refuse to make restitution because they were at work and therefore had no control over his actions?




Liz_Rocket
by on Oct. 25, 2013 at 2:25 PM
Quoting LindaClement:

And I keep saying, over and over, 'how?'

How are they supposed to be held responsible for what they do not control?

Here's some more complexity: prove it was THAT 12yo and not someone else entirely, or someone who lives there. Innocent until PROVEN guilty, right?

If there is actual proof it was actually that specific 12yo, that specific 12yo (at large while parents are elsewhere for protracted periods) is responsible for that 12yo's behaviour. Since they're 'free' to be unaccompanied and unmonitored -ergo: responsible for themselves--it's the only rational answer... Nothing at all to do with the parents.

Quoting Liz_Rocket:
Quoting LindaClement:

If you own a bull and you don't fence it in, yes, it is your responsibility to pay for 100% of the damage it does to anyone or anything.

It isn't 'really' a yes or no question because, as much as you'd like to oversimplify the issue, it's complex.

It's complex because we're not talking about stupid animals that can't open the doors. And because, for better or for worse, society has accepted the long slide into unsupervised, unchaperoned, unwatched and uncontrolled children at large at younger and younger ages ... all with lots of parental guilt/apologia thrown in to make the conversation stop as quickly as possible: but we HAVE to work, but in today's economy, but we have no choice, but everyone does it, but it's supposed to be fine, but I have a long commute, but, but, but....

Yeah: unsupervised children at large, for whatever reason are outside the control of their parents.

If they're allowed out there, who can enforce any kind of responsibility on someone who can't possibly have any control of what happens 'out there'?

Quoting Liz_Rocket:
Quoting LindaClement:

How can you be 'responsible' for something you have absolutely no way of having any control over?

How can you be responsible for what you cannot start, stop or slow down?

Quoting Liz_Rocket:



We're not talking about control, Linda. We're talking about responsibility. No matter how much the parents "cut themselves out" of their children's lives, they are still responsible for them. In the case of my hypothetical question regarding the 12 year old who broke a window while his parents were at work, do you feel the parents should not be held responsible for damages since they were at work and had no control over their child's actions?




If someone had an animal they couldn't control and it hurt someone or destroyed property, the owner would still be responsible. If someone couldn't control losing their job, they'd still be responsible for paying their bills. There's quite a few things in life we are resposible for that we have no control over.

The scenario involving the child breaking a window and the responsibility of the parents for restitution is really just a yes or no question, Linda. You seem to have a great deal of difficulty answering it.

I will pose it again. If a child breaks a neighbors window while his parents are at work, do you feel the parents would be reasonable in refusing to fix it since they were at work and had no control over their child's actions?




Im not asking you what society thinks. I'm asking you what you think. In the very SPECIFIC instance of a 12 year old child who breaks a neighbor's window while his parents are at work, do you PERSONALLY feel its reasonable for his parents to refuse to make restitution because they were at work and therefore had no control over his actions?







I rarely drag accusations of deflection because its a tired old war horse paraded far too frequently. But Jesus. I've never seen someone do it to this extent.

What a silly thing to do, bringing up guilty until proven innocent in a very hypothetical question. We will say the child admitted it. Any logical person would say yes, it would be the reasonable to expect the parents to fix the window their child broke even they were at work because even though they have no control over his actions, they are still responsible for him and his actions.

I've been a member if this group and have paid close attention to the debating styles of the more active members. You're alot of obscure references, long diatribes and very little substance. It's disappointing, really.
LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Oct. 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM

You should probably eat something sweet. You're getting grumpy and highly critical. Interesting debate style, since you bring it up...

You may not have noticed, in all your criticism and righteousness, that I have asked more questions you have not answered than you have asked.

As I said: it's much more complex than you suggest. And, before we get into personal attacks: my kids were not at large without supervision at 12... because this is not the first time I've thought about this issue.

I'm okay with questions not having concrete answers. Are you?

Quoting Liz_Rocket:

Quoting LindaClement:

And I keep saying, over and over, 'how?'

How are they supposed to be held responsible for what they do not control?

Here's some more complexity: prove it was THAT 12yo and not someone else entirely, or someone who lives there. Innocent until PROVEN guilty, right?

If there is actual proof it was actually that specific 12yo, that specific 12yo (at large while parents are elsewhere for protracted periods) is responsible for that 12yo's behaviour. Since they're 'free' to be unaccompanied and unmonitored -ergo: responsible for themselves--it's the only rational answer... Nothing at all to do with the parents.

Quoting Liz_Rocket:
Quoting LindaClement:

If you own a bull and you don't fence it in, yes, it is your responsibility to pay for 100% of the damage it does to anyone or anything.

It isn't 'really' a yes or no question because, as much as you'd like to oversimplify the issue, it's complex.

It's complex because we're not talking about stupid animals that can't open the doors. And because, for better or for worse, society has accepted the long slide into unsupervised, unchaperoned, unwatched and uncontrolled children at large at younger and younger ages ... all with lots of parental guilt/apologia thrown in to make the conversation stop as quickly as possible: but we HAVE to work, but in today's economy, but we have no choice, but everyone does it, but it's supposed to be fine, but I have a long commute, but, but, but....

Yeah: unsupervised children at large, for whatever reason are outside the control of their parents.

If they're allowed out there, who can enforce any kind of responsibility on someone who can't possibly have any control of what happens 'out there'?

Quoting Liz_Rocket:
Quoting LindaClement:

How can you be 'responsible' for something you have absolutely no way of having any control over?

How can you be responsible for what you cannot start, stop or slow down?

Quoting Liz_Rocket:



We're not talking about control, Linda. We're talking about responsibility. No matter how much the parents "cut themselves out" of their children's lives, they are still responsible for them. In the case of my hypothetical question regarding the 12 year old who broke a window while his parents were at work, do you feel the parents should not be held responsible for damages since they were at work and had no control over their child's actions?




If someone had an animal they couldn't control and it hurt someone or destroyed property, the owner would still be responsible. If someone couldn't control losing their job, they'd still be responsible for paying their bills. There's quite a few things in life we are resposible for that we have no control over.

The scenario involving the child breaking a window and the responsibility of the parents for restitution is really just a yes or no question, Linda. You seem to have a great deal of difficulty answering it.

I will pose it again. If a child breaks a neighbors window while his parents are at work, do you feel the parents would be reasonable in refusing to fix it since they were at work and had no control over their child's actions?




Im not asking you what society thinks. I'm asking you what you think. In the very SPECIFIC instance of a 12 year old child who breaks a neighbor's window while his parents are at work, do you PERSONALLY feel its reasonable for his parents to refuse to make restitution because they were at work and therefore had no control over his actions?







I rarely drag accusations of deflection because its a tired old war horse paraded far too frequently. But Jesus. I've never seen someone do it to this extent.

What a silly thing to do, bringing up guilty until proven innocent in a very hypothetical question. We will say the child admitted it. Any logical person would say yes, it would be the reasonable to expect the parents to fix the window their child broke even they were at work because even though they have no control over his actions, they are still responsible for him and his actions.

I've been a member if this group and have paid close attention to the debating styles of the more active members. You're alot of obscure references, long diatribes and very little substance. It's disappointing, really.


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)