As reported all over the US this past weekend, the article below is from the Daily Mail online. I looked and listened for a trace of dismay (other than the fake shock accompanied with a smile on Fox News) in the voices of television reporters, or the mention of child abuse.
I didn’t find either. This is not respectful or constructive parenting. The final sentence in the article, stating that the police had investigated and found that the parents were doing nothing illegal, speaks to a legal loop hole in the protection of children. Public shaming of a child is unacceptable and the lack of public outrage around this, disheartening. In fact, the action was largely lauded.
Please read the article and share your thoughts with us, thanks — Miri
A teenage girl has been forced to stand by the side of a busy road holding a sign accusing her of ‘disrespect’ towards her family.
15-year-old Jasmine has had a number of behavioural issues, and the last straw for her parents came when she let a boy into her house in the middle of the night.
So they made her stand out near their home in Palm Coast, Florida, advertising her misdeeds for passers-by to see.
The sign held by Jasmine, whose surname has not been released, read: ‘I sneak boys in at 3am and disrespect my parents and grandparents.’
Punishment: 15-year-old Jasmine, centre, has been forced to pose with a humiliating sign by her parents
Her mother Melinda and stepfather Mike say the teenager has been acting out ever since she started at high school this fall, according to WESH.
They accuse her of drinking, lying and sneaking out of the house, before the forbidden liaison which led to Jasmine’s unusual punishment on Wednesday.
They insist that they have tried a number of alternative disciplinary methods, but that none have worked so far.
‘I’ve taken all her toys or her electronics away – her phone, no privileges on the TV or computer – and still she just laughs about it,’ Melinda said.
Mike added that while the punishment might seem brutal, it was motivated by compassion.
‘This is all about love,’ he told WESH. ‘I took my day off of work. I missed out on $300 or $400 today to do this. You know what I mean, to come and do this. I love this kid.’
He added that Jasmine needed to be straightened out before getting into more serious trouble, saying: ‘This is the beginning of what she’s doing to eventually wind up in prison.’
The teenager unsurprisingly took a different view of her punishment, insisting: ‘That’s not love.’
She added, ‘It’s not just embarrassing them, it’s embarrassing me too.’
However, Jasmine also admitted that the unorthodox discipline had led her to rethink her behaviour – and her parents have warned her that if she does not mend her ways, they will consider making her hold a sign outside her own school, or even shave her head.
While most passing motorists seemed to approve of Jasmine’s fate, one stopped to make sure she was OK, saying: ‘The way she looks right now, I don’t want her to hurt herself.’
Police investigated the incident, but found no evidence that Mike and Melinda were doing anything illegal.
(Images: Daily Mail)