Teen Vandalism...Who Pays? Essay

1396 words - 6 pages

Parents of teen vandals should be held responsible for their child’s act of vandalism because, as parents, they maintain accountability of their children.
Due to the consequences of their child’s act of destruction and lack of morals and values, parents who maintain by law, total accountability of their children owe it to their community to pay for all costs incurred. The repercussions of family embarrassment may, in the long run teach not only the children how to obey authority through implemented rules and regulations, but it may also cause the parents to ultimately learn that their parenting skills need to align with acceptable standards of society. When faced with hundreds of dollars in court cost, legal fees and property damage assessments, a lesson can be learned by all parties involved. The consequence needs to fit the violation, so that it becomes a wakeup call to parents who are lacking the ability to maintain control of their children. Therefore parents of teen vandals should be held liable for their child’s act of vandalism.
In 2000 while living in Germany, three American teenagers were convicted on first degree murder charges for what started as an act of vandalism. The teens committed a horrific act resulting in a crime that ended with the death of two drivers in different cars, both traveling on a roadway when their cars were struck by bricks that were thrown from a bridge overpass above. As horrific as it was and devastating for the parents of the teens, there stands a reason why it should be their responsibility to pay for the trial cost and damages; a tough life lesson. The teenagers were sentenced to time in a German prison, leaving their parents to pay astronomical court cost and lawyer fees. However, the most devastating thing about the entire crime was the fact that their parents were visitors in another country; a country that had different rules, regulations, laws and social standards. Because the teens were, “bored and looking for adventure” (Williams), they shattered the lives of their victim’s families as well as their own. By all accounts, the teens that committed this awful act of vandalism were only acting out of boredom, not intentionally or deliberately seeking to hurt someone. Evidently they were destroying property and the roadways below; by strewing debris in the form of large rocks, which in the end, created a huge mess for work crews and emergency personnel to later clean up.
Criminal behavior of any kind is unacceptable; vandalism is indeed an act of criminal intent. Vandalism, defined as the willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property, has become a significant problem in many communities across the United States ("About Juvenile Delinquents; what every parent should know"). Consequently when this type of behavior becomes apparent it creates social issues within a community. No one wants to have their property destroyed; it is an unwanted intrusion of personal space,...

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