Friday, January 19, 2007

Kids Out of Control (KOOCs)

In an article titled 'Mean Girls' Trend Points to Deeper Problem, we are told that there is an alarming rise in violence among girls. In fact, sociologists are projecting that if this trend continues, there will be as many violent female criminals as there are male ones.

This particular article discusses the vicious beating that three girls gave a fourth girl in New York. Shockingly, they videotaped that beating, then displayed it on My Space. Sadly, they are only part of a bigger problem.

Some of this is societal. With the rise of Thug Stars such as Eminem and Lil' Kim, we are letting people into our homes and our lives that we would not usually allow in to clean our carpets! Our kids see such trash as acceptable role models, because we allow it.

I haven't addressed the subject of KOOCs in a while, but it has always been a passionate topic for me.

Here's the easy solution:

Yearly mandatory parenting classes for all parents. Sure, it would be an inconvenience for those of us that are dedicated, involved parents. But in the end, the inconvenience would be worth it if the classroom bully's parents suddenly realized what they were doing wrong. And it would give us all a baseline we can refer to when problems do occur.

Just imagine: The classroom bully (let's call him Hannibal) kicks little Tomeka and makes her cry. Tomeka's teacher or parents can call Hannibal's father and say "Hey, Hannibal Sr., do you remember when they told us that kicking is unacceptable?" And Hannibal's father can also do what he was trained to do: punish Hannibal for bad behavior. If Hannibal continues to behave badly, we move to...

Solution 2: Hold parents legally accountable for their children's behavior. How should we do this? We can always get into the details later. But my favorite idea is a monetary fine. There's nothing that creates more of an impression than money going out of your pocket.

Let's face it, folks. We've arrived at a time where bad kids and bad parents aren't going to get any better unless they're forced to. And right now, they've got a free ride.


Ed Abbey said...

My solution would be to through the KOOC and their parents into jail for a night or two. Let them spend some quality time together of which they obviously get very little. Last, charge them for the pleasure or their accomodations.

Edge said...

I've always been for holding parent's accountable for kids actions. I like the ideas, but the money involved would be tremendous, but think about it. We did it with driver's license. Why can't we withhold something until a parent takes parenting classes. I think we should have a license for kids. Make it $5 a kid and you have to attend a 3 hour session or video course online. Until you attend and get your license, then you don't get to deduct state income tax or can't renew a license or get welfare. Seems simple to me too.


michelle said...

I am not keen on this idea. I completly agree that there are parents that need to step up. I do not think punishing us parents that already do step up is the answer. When a child behaves poor at school or even if a child has repeatedly poor grades in school, I think those parent need to be accountable.

I have not looked it up yet, but I just recently heard that the City of Phildelphia has or or working on a parent accuntability plan for parents accoutable for helping their children in school. I will try to find some info and post it.

jsull28fl@yaho said...

If the parents suck then they won't attend class or pay the fine anyway. So it would be more useless laws, and a waste of time and money. It seems that with the demise of personal responsibility and ever growing need for the g'ment to support and teach and raise and parent etc, those that are to sorry to do for themselves the need for Big Bro becomes greater. If the example was set that if the KOOC himself had to do X amount of community service before he could go back to school and that community service was wearing a pink frilly suit while under armed gaurd and picking up trash around the school and on the side of the road then maybe they would figure it out soon enough. The punishments are soft, slow and meaningless to the offender, that is the problem. If the punishment was harsh, swift and painful then it would work. I would also hold the parents somewhat accountable too.
thoughts from a cracker

michelle said...

Give the kids some toilet duty, painting the fences, washing windows, cafeteria dishes...

The parents can be at the school during the time their child is doing all this work sitting down with someone being taught "how to say no to your child", "how to help or where to go for homework help", etc and so-on.

If the child or parent refuses, then off to another school or facility, or worse they go.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Jsull - it will work! Parents do not want to pay the fine? Chain them to the tree of woe! They can contemplate their choice while buzzards pick at their legs.

Yes, the tree of woe has many powers.

And then there is the Singapore model. Kid spray paints your fence? Have a kung-fu master cane the bastard. Ill bet that the kid never decides to spray paint anything he/she does not own again!

Of course this may be considered "cruel". Fine. No tree of woe and no kung-fu masters. No buzzards and no bamboo rods soaked in water to make them a little more heavy and flexible. Ruin my fun why don't you.

So the next step - bring back the stocks! Yes, public humiliation! Are you a kid out of control, or a parent of a kid out of control who does nothing to correct bad behavior? Not paying your terrible kid fines? No problem!

We put you in a set of old fashioned stocks for a period of time. These stocks would be located in a public area, where there is a lot of foot traffic. Passers by could pelt you with rotten fruit or eggs or whatever. Or taunt you. Or take photos and post them on the internet! People could point and laugh! Homeless people could steal your shoes. And you could do nothing about it.

Wages could be garnished. The fine you do not pay could be waiting for you next time you try to register your car. The fine you do not pay could be attached to your power or water bill - don't pay and no showers for you! No flushing toilet either. There are ways to make people pay up.

Just put me in charge of the program. I personally guarantee those fines WILL be collected. And I also pledge more "creative" punishments for youths who think that they can do whatever they want, and for adults who think they can not be forced to pay a bad kid fine.

I just need some money to build a Shaolin Monk Temple here. And import some genuine monks from China. They could be the first wave of true kung-fu masters. Bamboo canes are cheap.

Matt said...

Saur, the idea of mandatory parenting classes seems so overly paternalistic that I question whether you are indeed an American.

I'm kidding, sort of.

But your suggestion for a monetary fine fits perfectly with current jurisprudence as parents are routinely held accountable criminally and civilly for failing to police teenage parties held on their properties and bartenders may be held civilly liable for serving drunks that cause traffic accidents.

Yes. Some sort of non-criminal civil fine ($100) would be a great idea. It was always such BS as a kid that a 17 year-old could get away with assault up until his birthday.

Minors of course shouldn't be held to the same standards as adults but how about some smaller, similar sanctions from the state as opposed to just from schools and parents.

I mean, there must be other ways around this problem. If you're an adult who permits--and encourages--minors to fight each other, how is that different from participating in a cock fight down South?

Isn't that child endangerment? You make a good point there....

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I don't hold much brief for mandatory parenting classes. Whose parenting philosophies get followed? (In Finland they have a law against all physical punishment, and I ran across some folks whose children had been put in foster care because they swatted the behind of one of their children who stole from one of his siblings)

I am, however, all for holding parents responsible for the actions of their kids (though it would have been hard on my parents if I had been caught in some of my youthful -non violent- activities that they never knew about).

Emma Sometimes said...

It's a respect issue, Saur. Parents aren't teaching children respect. It's respect that trickles into no-prejudice toward others, no hate crimes, no property damage, respecting ideas & laws, even their own selves. I am a firm believer that parents are the reason for KOOC.

I am saddened when the government additionally takes away a parent's right (within reason) to raise the child until they are 18. I say, until my kids are 18, their backside is mine to deal with, as is their schooling, their health, etc...but that is another post entirely.

Meow said...

Hey, Saur, just dropping by to say HI. Hope all is well.
Have a magical weekend.
Take care, Meow xx