What Would It Take to Kick Your Kids Out of the House?

Jeanne Sager
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Flickr photo by BlatantNews.com
A set of parents who kicked their teenager out of the house made national news late last week -- their son, Derrick Martin, made the egregious mistake of standing up for his rights in the face of homophobia. 

And get this, the kid won over his small town school district! They are actually going to let Martin take his boyfriend to the prom.

It's just the sort of experience that should have parents falling all over themselves to help their child, but Martin's mom and dad reportedly thought he brought bad publicity to the family.

Which begs the question: what justifies a parent kicking their child out of the house?

Because 1.6 to 1.7 million American youth have experienced homelessness, and some 63 percent are never sought by their parents.

Gay teens are at a particularly high risk of being kicked out of the house -- 26 percent of gay teens report it happened to them.

But the range of reasons parents make the decision is immense -- from teen pregnancy, to drug abuse, to just being in a really pissy mood.

It's admittedly easy to say this with a young child who hasn't yet hit the teen years, but I can't help finding any and all of those reasons to be appalling. Even the most screwed up kid got there somehow, and if it happened under your roof, I dare say you played some role (not all of it, but some). And they're still your kid -- addicted to meth, six months pregnant, robbing you blind -- it's the same person who used to cuddle up to you when they felt sick and play hopscotch on your driveway.

Still, I'm not in those parents' shoes. I can't say what will happen when my kid is a teen, only what I hope will happen.

What's a serious enough offense to consider kicking your kid out?

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