I'm beginning to wonder if parents actually think making excuses for their kids' bad behavior is "parenting." Take the high school sophomore in California who was kicked out of honors English last month for copying a classmate's homework. Are his parents embarrassed that their kid was caught cheating?
Of course they're not! They're suing the school district, because, golly gee, it's just soooo not fair! Who wants to lay bets right now on how many colleges this kid ends up getting kicked out of because no one bothered teaching him that rules are rules?
Of course Jack Berghouse told the Mercury News that despite an Academic Honesty Pledge that both his son and the boy's mother signed that warned cheating will get you kicked out of class, they're suing because the punishment doesn't fit the crime. They're afraid this will screw up their son's future:
You cannot imagine the mental and emotional penalty that has been inflicted upon him. He is a student who has a chance to do just about anything, and he thinks that this could take that away from him. We've offered several penalties, anything other than being kicked out of the English program.
Wow, now he thinks that a punishment for doing something wrong could take away future chances? He didn't think that when he copied another kid's work? Even though kids are taught way back in elementary school that cheating is wrong? Sounds like someone forgot to teach their child the concept of consequences for one's actions ... and here they go again!
We are seeing this kind of parenting by denial more and more these days (did you hear about the parents who are currently suing Apple because their kids spent too much money on iPad games?), and I have to tell you it doesn't exactly give me a whole lot of hope for our future. Imagine walking into the dry cleaner next week and finding out the idiot behind the counter actually set your favorite sweater on fire ... and now he's suing you, because, well, you were the meanie who brought your sweater into the dry cleaner, and now he's suffering from some kind of flashback over the fire. If kids are being raised to blame everyone else for their problems, that could be our future!
And if you don't think it's gotten that bad, consider this: if our parents had caught us cheating, we would have been grounded for the rest of the year. They would have made it very clear that we should be ashamed of ourselves for such poor behavior. But these parents aren't even embarrassed that their kid did something wrong; they're telling the world ... and suing to boot.
What would you do if this was your child who was caught cheating?
Image via woodleywonderworks/Flickr