Parental Accountability

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So there’s been a topic in my local news for a while now and it just made headlines again. A then 18 year old girl who faced criminal charges for a sexual relationship with her then 14 year old girlfriend is now asking for part of her sentence to be reduced to normal probation instead of community control. I’m not going to go into the entire story as it is long, but you can find the entire story and details if you Google it.

The premise is that in order to draw attention to her “cause” and not be expelled or jailed for what equates to statutory rape, the accused girl’s parents started a gay rights campaign #FreeKate. They claimed that she was being punished for being a gay teenager. Nothing could have been further from the truth. She was being punished for having a blatant disregard of rules and laws. She engaged in sexual activities with a minor on school property. Once the parents of said minor found out the accused’s age at the time(18) they took the legal route as they thought their then 14 year old daughter had no place in a sexual relationship of any kind, gay or straight. This is the parent’s right, as the state of Florida has a clear law about the age of consent. So the accused’s parents decided to go this route to smear the other girl’s family and create a lie. The girls’ school did not expel her for being gay. They expelled her for breaking school rules on multiple occasions. The courts did not sentence her for being gay, they sentenced her completely disregarding a Cease & Desist order when she chose to contact the minor after being explicitly ORDERED not to. Her behavior boils down to one thing. The way she was raised and the examples she was given.

Parental accountability comes into play here in a big way. I DO NOT know her mother personally, so I cannot comment on the examples she chooses to set for her family, but I do know her father and step-mother personally and professionally. Having personal & professional experience with her father and step-mother I can honestly say I see where she gets her disrespect for rules. They have chosen to break society’s rules and laws on several occasions, stealing and defrauding people, resulting in either termination or being asked to quietly resign from jobs or else face criminal charges. They set up a GoFundMe account for Kate’s legal fees, and shortly after the account was closed her father opened a new business. Odd coincidence……Her father was let go from the police force for his “abuse of power”. These are the examples she had. Is it any wonder she showed no regard for laws.

When her parents decided to start their #FreeKate campaign under the premise of this being a gay issue, I took personal offense to it. I have a gay family member, and it disgusted me when they decided to use this ploy to try to escape the law. At some point her parents have to take accountability for the examples they showed her while she was growing up. Instead of finding loopholes, perhaps they should have shown her how to face her problems head on. Perhaps instead of being underhanded, they should have shown her how to be honest and own her mistakes. Instead of being allowed to slink out the back door with their tail between their legs, they should have had to “face the music”, showing her that when you make mistakes, you have to face the consequences. When I make a mistake, I tell Bean I messed up and now I have to fix it. I tell her when I’m wrong, just like I tell her when she is wrong. If I never hold her accountable for her actions and choices, she will never learn anything other than she can act however she pleases with no repercussions. And that is not a child for which I want to take credit. It gives me a sense of pride when I hear Bean say she messed up on something or didn’t do something right. Then I can show her how to deal with it, how to find a solution, instead of how to find a loophole to get out of it.

I understand that #FreeKate is a sensitive issue and this is simply my opinion. To watch her family try to take advantage of peoples’ good nature for what amounts to yet another scam is infuriating. Other people are welcome to their own opinions on the matter. But I want to lay my head down at night knowing that Bean is being taught that for every action is an equal but opposite reaction and she has to live with those consequences. Will I be there to hold her hand if she gets into trouble? Of course. Will I tell her that we will face her problem together? Always. But I want to know I did right by my child and taught her the right path.

Keep those toes in the sand…and on the right side of the law!

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