16-Year-Old Dies of Alcohol Poisoning After Parents Tried to Teach a Lesson on Drinking

If you want to teach your teen a lesson on the dangers of alcohol consumption, one of the last things you might want to do is make him or her drink. Wyoming mother Paulette L. Richardson and her husband, Joseph M. Richardson, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter after Paulette's 16-year-old son died from the parents' "drinking exercise."


Kendal Ball sounded like a typical teenager who was likely intrigued at the idea of drinking alcohol -- but does that justify his mom and stepfather playing bartender for the night so he could learn a lesson? Sadly, this teen will never have a chance at life because his parents took things too far.

Parents who let their teens drink under their roof is nothing new. In fact, I know a couple families who encourage the behavior, as they can give advice on how to stay safe and sober with friends. They figure, if your kid is going to drink as a teen, they better learn properly at home -- that is, with adult supervision. Perhaps this is what Kendal's folks wanted for him, but things turned tragic.

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When I first heard about this incident, I asked myself why these parents would go to the extreme of trying to get their teen sick for the sake of an educational moment (it's not something I personally would do, but we're all different). However, once the involuntary manslaughter charges came, I was like, Hold up here, what else am I missing?

In the words of Jay Z: "Men lie. Women lie. Numbers don't."

Even if you don't watch crime shows or have a police officer in the family, know this: Kendal's blood alcohol level was crazy high -- like seven times the drinking limit in Wyoming to operate a car. This definitely puts a few drinks over the course of a couple hours into question (that's the story Kendal's folks gave to the police).

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It's truly unfortunate this young man had to die for his parents to learn about the very dangers they were trying to teach. Maybe his death should make us think twice about how far we go to teach our children a lesson.


Image via © Tom Grill/Tetra Images/Corbis

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