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Parental responsibilty unconstitutional

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. Not sure how I feel about this one. At what age are parents no longer responsible for their kid's behavior?
    At 17, I think a kid is older enough to be held accountable for his own choices . ... But 12? 14? 15?

    Judge rules parental responsibility law unconstitutional

    GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) -- A judge has ruled that a law holding parents accountable for crimes their children commit is unconstitutional.
    Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge Jennifer Weiler dropped charges Friday against a Maple Heights mother accused under the law of failing to supervise her 17-year-old son, who police said instigated a high speed chase last summer. The chase ended when his car hit a tree.
    Thelma Ephraim, 44, challenged the parental responsibility law ä believed to be the first in Ohio. Maple Heights adopted the ordinance last year to respond to complaints of teens congregating, violating curfew or vandalizing.
    Weiler decided the law was vague and unevenly applied. She also said a provision allowing parents to defend themselves by convincing a court they tried to control their child unconstitutionally placed the burden on parents to prove their innocence.
    Ephraim's lawyer, Ron C. Balbier, called the decision a "triumph for parents."
    Maple Heights Mayor Michael Ciaravino said the city will appeal the decision.
    "Children are profoundly influenced by their home environment," Ciaravino said. "But according to this decision, our children are left to the wolves."
    The case involving Ephraim was the 11th time the city has brought charges against parents, Law Director Timothy Toma said.
    Nine parents pleaded no contest and agreed to parenting classes, and a tenth case was dropped.
    Bedford enforces a similar law, and Cleveland is considering enacting one.
  2. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    More than just the age, I'd say the biggest problem with this is in how the law is both written and enforced, and under what circumstances are parents going to be held responsible? To what extent are we going to hold parents responsible (does Mom and Dad go to jail if 14-year-old Suzy gets knocked up by a 21-year-old over-pierced auto mechanic?)?
  3. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    You (in general, not just you, Orville) probably did some crazy shit as a kid, as did I. Were your parents responsible ones who raised you well? I'm sure they were. Did they know what you did 24-7? Not unless you were chained to your bedpost and homeschooled. In which the parents should be punished ... for the opposite reason.

    But it's impossible for parents to track teenagers every hour of the day. If they're asleep, kids can sneak out. If they're at work, kids can skip school. The school is ruled in loco parentis, so if a kid gets in a fight in class, does the teacher go to jail too?

    The libertarian in me applauds this ruling. If a kid breaks the law, he should be punished, but punishing the parents is crossing the line. That is, if there are parents in the picture, which in many cases there are not, hence the misbehavior.
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