Parents might have to pay for kids' misdeeds

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The next time Johnny decides to call in a bomb threat to a school, he might not be the only person in trouble.

The Georgia School Boards Association is considering asking legislators to hold parents accountable for violent acts, theft, vandalism and terroristic threats committed by their children during school hours. That could include passing the bill for responding to bomb threats to parents.

The proposal is among a list of issues the association will discuss with lawmakers in the next session of the General Assembly, said Dr. Don Rooks, who works on legislative matters for the association.

State Rep. Quincy Murphy, who leads the Augusta delegation, has been looking for a way to prevent bomb threats that disrupted classes more than 100 times in Richmond County schools last year.

"Someone needs to be held accountable, and in order for our kids to learn, they need to be in the classroom," Mr. Murphy said. "What our community has gone through is ridiculous."

The threats were such a nuisance last year that representatives of the school board, sheriff's office, judicial system and FBI held a special meeting to coordinate efforts to prevent the threats and catch and prosecute the culprits.

There were 133 bomb threats called in last year in Richmond County, and another one occurred on the first school day this year.

"We cannot continue to operate our schools like this," Mr. Murphy said. "We want (students) to have the type of atmosphere that is conducive to learning."

School board members also want a resolution.

"I think it's a great idea. Maybe parents can start stressing you don't play pranks like that," board member Venus Cain said.

Most parents are trying to do the right thing, she said. A law like this might get the attention of those who are not.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

BOMB THREATS


2005-06: 21


2006-07: 133

Source: Richmond County Board of Education

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common-sense-justice
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common-sense-justice 08/23/07 - 04:57 am
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This would be a great plan IF

This would be a great plan IF the laws were changed to allow disipline of kids by parents. The way it is now, if little Johnny gets a spanking, he tells a teacher, and DFACS is all over your butts. The teaching of right -vs- wrong MUST have consequences for violation. Parents nowdays are plain scared to disipline kids, and with good reason.

me1
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me1 08/23/07 - 04:58 am
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I agree parents should be

I agree parents should be held accountable for their kids actions, but why make them pay for their child calling in bomb threats. If it takes 3 hours to check the building make the kids make the time up, either on saturday or after school. That means all of them because peer pressure not to do it can change alot.in certain instances,

bone
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bone 08/23/07 - 05:47 am
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additional teacher pay for

additional teacher pay for extra time is prohibitive. just punishing the students by making them stay late / come to saturday school & finding one or two teachers to babysit them wouldn't be educationally sound. as a teacher, i wouldn't be interested in staying late or coming to saturday school regardless of pay. since georgia doesn't have a teachers union to represent us, though, the public could certainly work to get the idea of extended school passed. i'm not in favor of punishing the parents, either: when johnny is at school, his actions are his responsibility.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 08/23/07 - 05:48 am
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COMMON SENSE, one of my kids

COMMON SENSE, one of my kids threatened to "tell his teacher" if I adminstered some corporal punishment for his smart mouth. I told him to go ahead, but to pack his things because he'd probably want them at his foster home and new school. That sure got his attention, although some of these brats might actually prefer foster care.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 08/23/07 - 05:52 am
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IF you want parents to take

IF you want parents to take control of these kids, make them (the parents) do community service at their kids' schools right along with the kids. Make them work really hard and be compelled to complete some useful task, like scrubbing floors and bathrooms. There's nothing wrong with hard work that somebody otherwise would be paid to do, and it has a riveting effect on the lazy, disruptive types. It would even save the public some money.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 08/23/07 - 06:10 am
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Parents ARE responsible for

Parents ARE responsible for their children. When a child misbehaves it's the parents that teach him/her not to do that while under parental control. If a parent chooses to relinquish their responsibilities before the child is ready to take them up, then I see no problem with the system holding the parent fiscally responsible for the childs misbehavior. The action would have a tendency to remind everyone of their role.

heartablazing69
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heartablazing69 08/23/07 - 06:13 am
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Even though calling in a bomb

Even though calling in a bomb threat is wrong, some kids do it due to peer pressure or for a popularity status. They might come home and be perfect angels and parents are not aware that they have broken the law. Before a parent gets charged for the childs terroristic act officials need to look into the background of the child i.e Has child had previous infractions at school, what their grades are like on average through the year, what type of people they hang with at school and then look at the parents life style and their involvement with school and the child. Some parents don't care what the kids do as long as they stay out of the parents hair. Those are the ones that should pay for the missdeads of their offspring.

PoliticallyNcorrect
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PoliticallyNcorrect 08/23/07 - 06:51 am
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Thank God my children are

Thank God my children are adults now & never commited such acts but if they had I would not feel responsible for their decisions 7 nor should I be. I desplined my children well, and provided them with a sense of right from wrong that's the best a parent can do, how can anyone expect a parent to be able to control all the actions of one's offsprings. It is IMPOSSIBLE ! Some kids ( people ) are just bad apples so why punish the parents for circumstances outside their control? The simple and only reasonable answer is to make the legal punishment more severe, the one deterent for reasonable thinking citizens is the fear of the consequences. FEAR is what keeps one IN-LINE ...FEAR is a good thing, it helps one make smart decisions.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 08/23/07 - 07:10 am
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Teachers mostly know which

Teachers mostly know which kids are going to be trouble by the 5th grade, probably even earlier. Start earlier to deal with these numbskulls, making their parents participate in the process, and these things might not be issues by the time high school rolls around.

anotherlook
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anotherlook 08/23/07 - 07:40 am
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I think that there may be

I think that there may be some underlying issues behind such terroristic acts and those should be considered. However I do not believe that should preclude having a defined set of consequences that involve the parents. When such an event occurs it impacts the whole community and shows a lack of respect for the rights and safety of all those involved. As parents the task of preparing our children to be good students and citizens is not a responsibility that we can take lightly or delgate to someone else. Moreover, the fear of DFACS removing ones' children from the home shows a lack of knowledge of the laws of this state and social services procedures. Child Protective Services investigates and screens out inumerable reports ever year because they are unfounded. Please clarify what is or is not considered abuse with your county DFACS. And don't let ignorance allow your child to manipulate you and prevent you from giving appropriate discipline. Children need parents. Parents who are not seeking the child's approval. Parents who are responsible and loving enough to communicate clear expectations, set limits, and partner with the schools to help us end this blight.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/23/07 - 07:50 am
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Several weaknesses in this

Several weaknesses in this article. First of all, Gelpi tells how many bomb threats were received, but does not tell us how many investigations actually led to a culprit. If you don't have a culprit (throuhg confession or conviction) then you cannot send a bill for the cost of the investigation to the parents. I would call a law like this a "feel-good" law. The politicians pat themselves on the back for passing a bill, but the police have no better tools to actually catch a bomb threat caller.

mou10man
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mou10man 08/23/07 - 08:17 am
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There is a MAJOR problem with

There is a MAJOR problem with a law of this nature. You are punishing the wrong person. The child called in the bomb threat, not the parent. The child did the dirty deed, not the parent. The school system and the law needs to hold the student accountable for his or her actions. Don't pass the buck to the parent because little Johnny wants to show off to his buddies, or impress his girlfriend, or get back at a teacher who did hold him responsible for something he did wrong. I doubt very seriously that any parent told little Johnny to call in any bomb threat. A good punishment (if caught) 6 months at YDC automatic sentence. No time off for good behavior. This might put a halt to some of this.

misscj0123
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misscj0123 08/23/07 - 08:19 am
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I agree with mou10man. Talk

I agree with mou10man. Talk to any kid who has been at YDC...they do not want to go back. Parents...time to get back to Tough Love!

ripjones
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ripjones 08/23/07 - 08:24 am
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WAOF - I agree with you on

WAOF - I agree with you on this one. Let the parent stand side by side with their child, doing some form of community service. Until the child reaches 18, the parent is responsible. And Bone, if you want a teacher's union - MOVE ! My wife is a teacher, and I doubt a union would make her life any more complete. We spanked our son, and I think he has turned out okay, without any loss of self-esteem. And he would not have even thought about calling DFACS, because he knew why he was being punished.

cparker
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cparker 08/23/07 - 08:52 am
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In theory this sounds great,

In theory this sounds great, but in reality this is stupid as hell....There are states that prevent parents from administering corporal punishment totally for being disobedient, but when the child enters the penal system the state has the right to apply deadly force in many circumstances. In short, the parent can't whip them but the state can legally kill them? The idea has always been right in front of our noses. Re-write the laws that hinder parents from stepping into their roles and then discuss parental accountability. I have good children because the schools, my neighbors, and my children knew what I was capable of if I got a phone call over their misbehavior. To hell with "timeout". The only person needing "time out" around here was ME.

Native Augustan
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Native Augustan 08/23/07 - 09:10 am
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IF you can catch them -- put

IF you can catch them -- put them on the chain gang so their "friends" can see where calling in a bomb threat gets you. And if a cell phone that has no time left on it can call 911 for a bomb threat then lock the call so they can not hang up. Require all cell phones to have GPS tracking capabilities (most do now) and trace the call using GPS. Once three or four of these idoits gets caught the number of bomb threats would drop quickly.

workharder123
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workharder123 08/23/07 - 09:12 am
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It's funny that our system

It's funny that our system blames parents for misbehaved children and at the same time will prosecute us for spanking them.

getreal59
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getreal59 08/23/07 - 09:23 am
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why don't the Georgia School

why don't the Georgia School Boards Association ask legislators to put parents back in control of raising the kids the ols fashion way.It would change our kids .Drugs,sex murder, and all the things our kidsare doing would come to a halt.I bet my life on it.Only a fool would think of charging the parents for the child doing.

mikeyrat
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mikeyrat 08/23/07 - 09:41 am
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A law like this would have

A law like this would have little effect on the actions of kids today. Any child who would do things like this could care less what their parents think anyway. But I like the law because of its impact on future generations. New parents would pay more attention to their children's rearing when they're toddlers if they knew that later in life they'll be fully responsible for their behavior. And I don't see anti-discipline laws as a problem for parents... I see them as an excuse. If you "raise" your child from day one, don't let minimum wage day care workers who could give a damn do it, etc., your child may actually grow up not calling in bomb threats...

misscj0123
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misscj0123 08/23/07 - 10:10 am
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I know plenty of kids who go

I know plenty of kids who go to (and have gone to) day care and their parents are good parents. The day care provides "care" for the children while the parent works. They don't raise the children.

MJDW
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MJDW 08/23/07 - 10:13 am
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The parent you are going to

The parent you are going to fine is probably trying to make ends meet. Have little Johnny wear a shirt or sign telling the rest of the students and staff he has wasted their time, again. And hand over little Johnny to a Coach for after school practice football, tract, basketball, ect. ect. Busy kids are less likely to do
wrong.

wise
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wise 08/23/07 - 11:07 am
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PoliticacllyNcorrect, You

PoliticacllyNcorrect, You think fear is what helps you make smart descions.? What are you on? When children make poor choices i.e. break the law etc. They often do so with a feeling of invincibilty. They don't think about consequences because they don't think they're going to be caught. If what you're saying was true this country would have a low incarceration rate because America has some off most draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the western world. We actually have the highest incarceration rate per capita in the industrialized world.
Maybe if they made class interesting the students wouldn't call bomb threats to get out off it. But seriously, they should thouroughly investigate each incident and inflict punishment other than incarceration.

WhyAugusta
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WhyAugusta 08/23/07 - 11:15 am
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I do not agree..So when

I do not agree..So when johnny is 20 and kills somebody lets make the parents do his time too.Obviously the argument could be made that a lack of parenting turned him into a killer.

If my child fails in school lets hold the teachers responsible.Thats about what this sounds like.Everyone is responsible for there own actions.Most of these kids are 16 or older.

They cannot be outside past 11 p.m yet they can go to adult jails and prison.

Our system and society is full of it.Always has been always will be.Long as the people of powers pockets are fine then there is no worry.After all if its there child it will miraciously go away.

When i was a teen no one was gonna tell me what to do.Including
my parents or some fat theiving judge/lawyer who probally breaks more laws than us all.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 08/23/07 - 11:28 am
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It looks to me like we've got

It looks to me like we've got some people commenting this morning who have kids in trouble and who don't believe it's their fault.

WhyAugusta
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WhyAugusta 08/23/07 - 11:35 am
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If you are referring to me my

If you are referring to me my oldest child is 5 and the farthest thing from her mind is bombs.

Sounds like alot of the people commenting are seniors who's kids have been out of school.

You cannot control a human being 100%.Its impossible and you are only fooling yourself.

Should ur parents be punished for every bad thing/mistake you've made/done.

WE SHOULD PUNISH OUR GOVERMENT FOR FAILING US ALL!!!

mikeyrat
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mikeyrat 08/23/07 - 11:48 am
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Well, Nika, depends on what

Well, Nika, depends on what you mean by "fail". If failing is intruding into our lives so much with this nanny state, taking responsibilties from parents because they (government) think they know better, then yes, I agree with you. My point earlier about day care wasn't meant to be a hack on day care. It is a hack on parents who DEPEND on day care to raise their kids. They DEPEND on the schools to babysit, feed, monitor health, and everything else for their kids. We as parents ( I have a 10 YO) need to buck up and make our own decisions about our kids, and teach them how to live right. If we who actually do that KNOW we can be punished later, alongside our kids for their actions, we will probably depend less on OTHER people to raise our kids, and do more of it ourselves. And this isn't about "controlling" your kids... its about nurturing, teaching, and giving them the moral foundation they need to not be criminals.

WhyAugusta
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WhyAugusta 08/23/07 - 12:06 pm
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Mikey i agree whole heartly

Mikey i agree whole heartly with the day care and people who think teachers etc should raise there kids.

I have 3 kids and not 1 has ever spent 1 day or even 1 hour at any daycare.Nor do i let others including family babysit my children.

Parents should take more responsibilty for there children and raising them.I was nurtured and built on solid morals yet I still had to find my own way as a teenager.Even into my early twenties.We all make mistakes and bad calls at some point in
time reguardless of our up-bringing or status in life.

We shouldnt be so quick to throw the parents in the fire.What about the kids who talk these kids into doing these things.What about there parents.See where this is going???

WhyAugusta
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WhyAugusta 08/23/07 - 12:08 pm
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Society says..If you know of

Society says..If you know of a crime/participate or even ignore it.You could be found just as guilty as the person who did the actual crime.Maybe even get in more trouble.So lets load all the parents up and all the kids friends parents up and make them all walk the plank.That just sounds silly...

misscj0123
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misscj0123 08/23/07 - 12:20 pm
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nikaya...do you work?

nikaya...do you work?

Get Real
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Get Real 08/23/07 - 12:35 pm
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I understand parents should

I understand parents should have control over their kids, and hopefully raise them to know right from wrong, but when kids are at school, how are parents suppose to be responsible for them, when we barely know what's going on. I think if the teachers would notify the parents when a problem first exist, then maybe they could get a handle on it. I don't think parents should be held liable for their children unless this crime is committed outside of school, but at school a child should be held liable for their own actions. In this time and day, all a parent can do is raise their child the best they can and hope for the best.

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