Recently a six-year-old kindergarten student in Shelby County brought a loaded handgun to school. The gun remained in the child’s backpack the entire school day and was only discovered when he showed it to fellow students on the bus ride home. The bus driver, who was made aware of the gun by a student on the bus, called authorities and the six-year-old with the gun was placed in the custody of The Department of Human Services. The kindergartener also faces a 180 day suspension from school.
Some will say that placing the child in the custody of The Department of Human Services is extreme and out of order, but in my opinion a six-year-old carrying a loaded gun is extreme and if his parents are irresponsible enough to leave a loaded gun within a six year’s old reach then maybe this child does need to be taken from the custody of his parent/s until this entire situation is investigated. I would prefer the child be placed with family and not in the custody of the state, but unfortunately for the child, he has ended up away from home and family and it is all because his parents were negligent.
To me, the first and most important question is, where does a six-year-old get his hands on a loaded .38 revolver? What parent is foolish enough to have a gun lying around the house and also foolish enough to leave it loaded and in the reach of a child?
This is where parent accountability comes in.
When children commit crimes that are solely or partially due to the negligence of their parents the parents should be held accountable for the crime. The parents are responsible for their child and when they are negligent and their negligence counteracts a crime being committed by their child, they too commit the crime; therefore they should be held accountable for the crime committed.
This six-year-old that brought a loaded gun to school could have injured or killed himself, fellow students or anyone else he may have come in contact with, all because his parents were negligent. I seriously doubt that a six-year-old obtained a loaded gun from anywhere else BUT home. The news has not reported whether or not the parents will be charged with any crime, which I doubt they will since no one was harmed, but in my opinion the amount of people put in harm’s way because of the parent’s negligence is a crime in itself and the parent/s should be punished for this negligence.
Now this child, who obviously knew what a gun was, but possibly didn’t know the dangers of it, is being suspended from school for an entire school year. The school year generally averages 180 days of instruction per year and if this child is suspended for 180 days that basically means he fails an entire grade. Is this what school officials consider punishment? If so there is much more wrong with our schools systems than we’d like to admit or are knowledgeable of.
Education is a fundamental human right: Every child is entitled to it. –UNICEF
Suspending a child for an entire school year is immoral and in no way does it teach a child the dangers of guns. If anything this child needs to be taught about the dangers of guns and the importance of staying away from them. He, along with his parents need training and punishment, but punishment for the child should not consist of being deprived of his education. Depriving a child of education is the exact opposite of what the school systems proclaim to strive for. If every child has the right to an education, isn’t this a form of depriving that child of the right to an education?
Overall, parents are responsible for their children and they need to be held accountable for these children. Too many times children are behaving badly, committing crimes and acts of violence and the parents are left unpunished. The child is punished yet the parent is only ridiculed or forced to face embarrassment. Where is the accountability?
It is true that parents cannot control what our children do and we cannot monitor them 24 hours a day, but we can instill in them the knowledge of knowing right from wrong and we can do everything in our power to keep them out of harms way. As parents we should live our lives in a fashion where as our children will see us as role models and expect that their parents will love them, care for them, guide them and teach them. Children should also feel that their parents are responsible for them. Nowadays far too many parents are not being responsible for the children they conceived. Not only are they choosing not to be responsible for their own children, but no one is making them take responsibility for their children.
When did being responsible for your own children become an option?