Prison Is Perfect for Dad Who Threw Son Off Cruise Ship

Sloane Briles
Sloane Briles
Remember the dad who a few weeks ago threw his 7-year-old son off of a cruise ship in order to "toughen him up"? To refresh: On a beautiful sunny day in California after the boy acted up, the dad, Sloane Briles, 35, threw him in the water. He did jump in after him, but he was arrested anyway.

At the time, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. He claimed they were just rough housing, and while it was a poor choice, I was more upset that the dad reportedly hit the boy than about the plunge into the ocean. And, like I said, he did jump in after him.

New evidence in the case, however, makes the whole thing even worse.

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Turns out Briles had been drinking before the cruise. Yesterday, he was charged with child abuse, and authorities confirmed that he'd been drinking at the time of the incident. That's where any benefit of the doubt I wanted to give ends.

Making parenting decisions regarding discipline is tough. While experts disagree as to the merits of spanking, most agree that if you're going to spank, you should do it with a clear mind -- not in anger, and most certainly not while you're drunk. And this guy was doing a lot more than spanking.

I'm not completely opposed to people drinking in front of or around their children. My husband and I occasionally have wine or cocktails at dinner, but there's also obviously a point at which you have to know when to say when, and if you don't, that becomes a shaky platform for making poor parenting choices ... and worse.

Earlier in the year, Briles had also been charged with public intoxication, so it's not like it was just a one-time slip-up either. The guy seemingly has problems and needs help, but he doesn't need to be around his children until he gets it.

His arraignment is scheduled for September 26, and if he's convicted, he could face six years in prison. That's steep, but no matter what the length of his stay is, it needs to be long enough for him to dry out and hopefully reevaluate the kind of father he wants to be.

Do you think six years would be too long for this man to serve for throwing his son off of the cruise ship?


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