Shame Punishments

5 years ago

For better or for worse, there seems to be a media driven trend towards shame punishments. First, we had Tommy Jordan who shot his daughter’s laptop. The girl had used it to publicly complain about being forced to do housework. Then, there was Denise Abbot who used Facebook to punish her daughter with the words ”I do not know how to keep my [mouth shut]. I am no longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why.” Now, we have Kaytlen Lopana 13 year old who cut off a 3 year old’s hair and was sentenced to 30 days in detention. She also received a $350 fine and 276 hours of community service. The judge offered to reduce her sentence by 150 hours if her mother agreed to cut off the girl’s pony tail in the presence of the court. The mother complied and is now filing a formal complaint.

As a parent, I find all 3 stories disgusting. I agree with Mr. Jordan that his daughter had misused the laptop and therefore, should no longer be allowed to use it. Videotaping his response and then firing bullets into the computer was both wasteful and self indulgent. What kind of example is that to set for your kids? His message would have been more profound  if the girl was forced to donate her laptop to charity. The computer would go to someone more deserving and could then be used for its intended purpose.

When I heard about the Abbot’s facebook post, I thought of the profile picture she had posted of her 13 year old daughter with an x over her mouth. It sickened me. I began to imagine how many pedophiles found the image intriguing. The mother claims to have taken the photo down after receiving a slew of strange requests but but she had inadvertently put that girl in danger.  While it would have been easy to change the profile to Facebook’s default image, I can’t grasp why she chose facebook to sentence the child in the first place. According to the story, the girl was mouthing off in the car. What does that have to do with Facebook? I think a detailed letter of apology and possible grounding would have been more to the point.

The praise these parents received for their actions completely escapes me. If your child fired bullets into a laptop or posted a picture of you with an x over your mouth, what feelings would that evoke? Outrage. It’s bullying. These parents are cyber bullying their children.

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