What ARE parental responsibilities and liabilities?
It’s clear that many children are injured and killed in violent crimes in America, and that juveniles continue to commit crimes at an alarming rate, including violent crimes.
From 2008 to 2017, arrests appear to be down across the board with a corresponding drop in juvenile arrests.
But recently, an uptick in crime overall, and especially a pair of high profile deaths in Chicago, highlighted how vulnerable children are in our violent culture, especially where gang activity is concerned.
- Jaslyn Adams was killed with her father, a known gang member, who was the target of a gang hit.
- Adam Toledo, a 13 year-old boy killed by a Chicago police officer responding to a shots fired call during overnight hours after a foot pursuit in which Adam could clearly be seen carrying a gun.
Of course, there are MANY examples of children put in danger by their parent or guardian, or children who get into trouble on their own – sometimes due to lack of supervision or due to bad example. According to the Chicago Sun Times, 31 victims under 18 have been killed in the City of Chicago from January 1 through July 6, 2022 (see for yourself at: https://graphics.suntimes.com/homicides/).
In America today, the prevailing sentiment is that if a crime is committed, then someone needs to pay. That seems fair. Of course, some crimes go unsolved, and we all understand that. But in other cases, crimes ARE solved, but nobody is prosecuted. And in other cases, crimes are solved, but the perpetrators are children, under 17 years old… then what?
We have some SPECIFIC questions we’d like to discuss
CRIME AND PREVENTION
- Who is responsible for keeping children from breaking the law? Police? Policymakers? Parents?
- Who is responsible for punishing children when they do?
- What is parents’ accountability for the safety of their underage children?
- To what degree should parents be accountable for crimes committed by their underage children?
- Violent crimes
- Car jacking
POLITICS AND POLICY
- Who is responsible to keep each child safe? Police? Policymakers? Parents?
- Did Jaslyn Adams’ father put her in danger? If so, is he responsible for her death?
- Should Adam Toledo’s parents be held accountable for Adam, 13 at the time, being out at such an hour, for his having a gun, and for his association with known gang members?
NEWS AND MEDIA
- The CEO of McDonalds was widely and publicly criticized for privately saying that he felt that parents of two children killed in Chicago had been failed by their parents.
- Was McDonalds’ CEO insensitive, or did his comments contain at least partial truth in calling out parents of Jaslyn Adams and Adam Toledo?