making an example

A Tennessee judge took 7 teenagers away from their parents yesterday.  They had all participated in a series of bomb threats that caused chaos in the school system and a copycat at my daughter’s middle school.  There is no question that they made horrible choices and need consequences for their actions.  Permanently expelling them from the school?  Of course.  Relinquishing parental rights?  I don’t think so.  Several of the children had lengthy records from previous problems, so a case could be made that they were beyond their parents’ control.  However, one of the teens was a good student who made a very huge mistake by being involved in this dangerous behavior.  His parents didn’t fail him and he shouldn’t be taken away from them.  You would have to sedate and lock me in a room to keep me from taking my child back if someone tried to take one of them away.  I feel so bad for this teenager and his parents that IF I was still working for my previous employer, I would be on the phone with the family, gathering community resources and legal support to get their child returned to them.  Children do stupid things and they make big mistakes.  Adults have the responsibility to discipline without making matters worse.

4 thoughts on “making an example

  1. A small correction: The parents in question didn’t lose their parental rights. The parents are still their childrens’ legal parents, but since kids were taken into state custody, the DCS is for the time being their legal custodian.

  2. Just by making the comment that she “needs to make an example of him”, the judge has provided ample room for an appeal, if not in criminal court than certainly in family court.

  3. The parents will be billed monthly for their children’s care, but they will have no voice in their children’s lives.

  4. This, to me, is an incredibly slippery slope.

    And I say that having taken care of state kids for many years. It cannot be understated the effect of moving a child from one family to another, even temporarily, can have on all parties involved, especially the kids.

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