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Parents should be held accountable for their kids’ actions

Parental liability is seen as complicated by many people, and numerous factors must be considered. 

For example, suppose a teenager’s party leads to harm, or suppose a child brings a weapon to school; it can be challenging for certain people to determine when and to what extent parents should be held responsible for their children’s actions. To truly consider liability actions, you have to look at the entirety of an individual’s situation and not just the age, leaving the law aside for an 18-year-old being an adult.

Overall, parents should be responsible for the actions of their children, as there are many different ways that they can discipline them to avoid harmful situations. Parents should be teaching their children from a young age what is right from wrong, and they should also know better as parents to not put them in situations that could result in danger.

The law regarding responsibility states that, “Under common law rules, parents are typically liable for the actions of their children only when: the child acted as an agent of the parent, the parent’s own negligence made the harm possible, or the parent negligently entrusted the child with a dangerous instrument (like a car or a weapon).”

However, this law can be seen as challenging to many, with certain unclear topics such as when kids start being charged as adults. In the United States, legal adulthood begins at 18. However, statistics show that In 2023, nearly 58 percent of 18-24-year old men in the United States lived with a parent, meaning that the parent should still be held responsible for their actions even if they are technically a “legal adult.” 

If an example were to arise where a 20 year old commits a crime under the supervision of their parent, the parent should certainly be held responsible if they could have easily done something to prevent that crime or if they had full awareness of the situation beforehand because they are still taking on supervision of their child by having their kid live with them.

Consider the case of the 15-year-old Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, criminally responsible for a school shooting and pleaded guilty in court to first-degree murder and torture. Crumbley was only 15 years old and many believed that he was mentally ill and needed to see a therapist. He also illegally owned a gun and wrote thoughts about his eventual school shooting in a journal. His parents knew about these things but chose not to take any action. 

In this case, it is reasonable to ask why the parents were aware of their child’s problems and did not raise concerns to speak up. Crumbley’s parents were convicted of involuntary manslaughter for their son’s actions because they were neglectful of their son’s behavior. Therefore, everyone should be held accountable for his horrible actions. Parents are responsible for being aware of their child’s issues and worries, especially regarding such a serious matter.

Crumbley also said, “I have zero help for my mental problems, and it’s causing me to shoot up the … school.” He also wrote in his notebook. “I want help, but my parents don’t listen to me, so I can’t get any help.” Instead, his parents ignored the signs that could have saved multiple lives. 

In 2012, a group of girls hosted a party, wanting it to be like the movie “Project X” while their parents were away from the house. The daughter of these parents was Destiny McCubbin, who was also the host of the party. They invited roughly 50 individuals, but the party attracted an estimated 170 people in a relatively small house. 

The situation escalated when rival gangs showed up, and an argument broke out, resulting in four teenagers being shot before law enforcement arrived at the scene. Destiny knows right from wrong, the parents should be responsible for their absence and leaving her daughter with no one to watch her. To date, no arrests have been made, and the incident raises questions about who should be responsible for the loss of many lives. 

Destiny should have been held accountable, as well as her parents. But who could blame just kids when the parents are gone and decide to put the well-being of their child in uncertainty by not leaving the kids under any adult supervision?

Being a parent comes with many significant responsibilities that entail being aware and wanting the best for the well-being of their child. It is essential to understand that raising a child demands high attention, commitment, and effort. If someone is unprepared to take on this role, they must acknowledge and reconsider becoming a parent. Additionally, regardless of age, anyone who lives under their parent’s roof should be accountable in most situations where their actions are due to their parents’ influences or lack of support.

Overall, society has abandoned raising children with limits and morals. How can one decide to have children and not teach them to recognize the signs, cry for help, and know when to seek help? Parents must do better, as they are accountable for the safety of their children.

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