- Posted May 30, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Is Walking a Mile to get Home too Much?
A man from Hawai'i was sentenced to a year in probation and a $200 fine for making his boy walk a mile home from school when the boy would not answer his questions over some matter that had happened earlier. It is unclear what the matter was about or the age of the boy at this time.
Judge Kathleen Watanabe told the father, Robert Demond of Kilauea, that the punishment was "old-school" and no longer appropriate given child predators and traffic. Demond was also ordered to attend a parenting class after being convicted of endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor. He has no prior criminal history.
Since the age of the boy is unknown it is hard to second guess the judge's ruling. But it is also hard to judge the father as well although the judge did that.
So what age is too young to have a child walk a mile home from school? When I was in school, even age six, I walked up to two miles to get to and from school in all weather conditions that the school was still open, alone. My parents have told me they had walked up to five miles when they were kids.
Though we also do not know the traffic volume in the area of this school, the judge does make a good point about traffic. There is a whole lot more traffic these days then there was in the past. The point about child predators is debatable because it is not like there were not predators before but we are much more aware as it is much more publicized. Still it is a real concern today.
But should a parent get a misdemeanor for not having the exact same judgement that the judge does about the traffic and possible predators? Should he be forced to go to parenting classes to be indoctrinated by the government about what is appropriate parenting? Who gets to decide what is good and bad parenting? Everybody has different opinions about discipline afterall. We talk about how parents are not parenting but when a parent is parenting we take their power and disciplinary tools away because their method is not our method.
A law abiding citizen who is probably intimidated by sitting in a courtroom with a judge staring him down and law enforcement crawling all over is easily made to plead no contest and state that if he could do the situation all over again he would have done it differently. But would he really do it differently or does he just say that while trying not to get a judge to pile on punishment? And should he have really done anything differently?
Again, the age is unclear, and unless we live there we do not know the traffic conditions, but is a year probation and fine ever appropriate in a case like this? It was a 5,280 foot walk.
If this is an appropriate sentence, then at what age of the child?