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Woman Sentenced to Wear ‘Idiot’ Sign -- What a Brilliant New Trend!

by Ericka Sóuter on November 6, 2012 at 6:09 PM

car on sidewalkAs far as crimes go, this isn't the dumbest, but it's pretty darn close. A Cleveland, Ohio, woman was caught on camera driving up on a sidewalk to pass a school bus that was unloading kids.

The only thing more surprising than Shena Hardin's crime (I mean really, why couldn't she wait two minutes?) is the sentence the judge gave her.

Her license was suspended and she was ordered to pay $250 in court costs, but that's not all. Hardin has to stand at an intersection for two days and wear a sign that says, "Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus." Amen to that. There is a reason drivers are not supposed to zoom past school buses that have stopped to let out children. It's unsafe. Not only could she have hit someone's kid, her reckless behavior might have injured a random person walking down the sidewalk too.

Some people will take issue with this sentence. It's not cruel, but it sure is unusual. But that is exactly what a situation like this calls for. I think that in certain cases, public reprimand and humiliation can be an effective deterrent. This isn't a ticket she can hide from her friends, family, and co-workers. Everyone will know how stupidly she behaved and she will have to deal with that. I bet Hardin will never consider doing something so careless again.

So I say let’s make every idiot wear a sign. Think about all those crimes that could be cured with this incredibly embarrassing punishment. I am not talking about would be sociopaths who are peeping in windows and killing animals. This would be ideal for all those seemingly minor or petty crimes that relatively sane citizens commit every day. Get caught soliciting a prostitute, your sign reads: "I put my wife’s health in danger by sleeping with a hooker." Snatch a woman's purse: "I am the creepy guy who robbed a defenseless lady." Run a dogfight: "I am a monster who is cruel to animals." Heck, I think it's worth a try.

Do you think this kind of punishment could be effective?


Image via AgentAkit/Flickr

Filed Under: crime


  • Jenna...


    November 6, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    I think it is a great idea- she is an idiot and now everyone will know it

  • NatAndCo


    November 6, 2012 at 7:00 PM
    Few things are as effective as public humiliation.
  • tuffy...


    November 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM
    Lol jennasmom. I'm sure plenty of people knew already. This can't be the first idiotic thing that jerk has done. She might have needed some disciplinary attention as a kid that she didn't get. Or maybe some fish oil. Anything to feed that brain.
  • craft...


    November 6, 2012 at 9:15 PM
    Running a dogfight is basically the same as killing animals.
  • sunfl...


    November 6, 2012 at 11:07 PM
    Two days??? I would have made her stand out there with that sign for two weeks! LOL! Great story! I'll bet she will never do anything so reckless again.
  • doodl...


    November 7, 2012 at 10:27 AM
    I think its great for kids and adults!
  • acoun...


    November 7, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    Isn't this what the "Stocks" were all about? Making a criminal hold still while the people around him/her, judged them? Calling insults, throwing dung & rotten vegetables at them? I do believe that practice was left behind with the recent age of enlightenment.  We stopped public humiliation of our children, because it caused psychological damage...look up recent  public "punishments" dealt by parents, and see the results. The parents go to jail.  An adult is allowed to be treated worse than a child? How about consequences that actually make a difference? Make the offender go to a driving class where they show the grisly aftermath of careless drivers? How about punishments that send the message home? make her lose her license for a year or more! Make her be a crossing guard for a couple months, make HER stop the idiots! There are appropriate consequences that wont cause lasting damage with her self image, her relationship with her co-workers, family & peers.

  • B&F's...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    B&F's mommy

    November 7, 2012 at 10:42 AM
    I agree she should have had to wear longer. What if she killed someone? She is a Complete Idiot!
  • Becky...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Becky McElhinny Vestorsky

    November 7, 2012 at 10:51 AM
    I agree to the sentence. Speaking for myself and all other bus school drivers this person is getting off kind of easy but justly. Maybe it will remind them to be more careful when it comes to safety of others. What if it was their child getting off the bus and someone else did that. As a parent I would go crazy. That person would react the same as me. Think of it ALWAYS as, it could be my child. Life is so short people, slow down and think defensive instead of offensive.
  • Lisa...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Lisa Howard

    November 7, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    I agree ! This would really make people think about their actions...

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