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Comments about ‘Letters: Parents too complacent in defending bad behavior’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 17 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Completely agree!

I felt the exact same way when I saw the interview and then later read a letter defending Miss Riverton.

It does not matter if anyone was injured or what their intent was. Actions have consequences. What they did was extremely dangerous and could have ended in great damages in property or death.

The reason why Miss Riverton acted the way she did was easily explained in that interview with her parents. Full of excuses, no accountability, and practically praising her daughter (and blaming law enforcement) for her daughter's selfish actions.

Unbelievable.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

Again, I must ask: Would locals be so tolerant of Miss Riverton's actions had she and her friends been NOT of the local dominant culture, minorities, or illegal immigrants? My guess is that had these kids been Islamic or suspected of being members of a gang, people wouldn't be defending them.

uncommonsense
CENTERVILLE, UT

Too many parents say "My child would NEVER do that". And then when confronted with the evidence shrug it off and let the child get away with it. Behavior like that by parents does nothing to help that child grow into a responsible adult.
My mother taught me that it's not enough that you love your children. It's that you raise children that others will love to be around. Consequences and responsibilities have to be taught from the earliest age. Just ask my 5 responsible adult children if there were consequences and responsibilities that they faced. And now they are raising their children and teaching them the same.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

You are not a good parent if you allow your child to be tossed to the justice system for what amounts to a prank. Everything is a felony these days, its lost its meaning.

wendell
provo, UT

Are you kidding me? You hope these kids are convicted of a felony and have criminal records for the rest of their lives? Did you never do anything wrong when you were a teenager? Maybe you never did anything as big as this, but as an adolescent, did you never commit any illegal acts but didn't happen to get caught? I don't know of a single kid who didn't make a few bad choices as they were growing up.

Come on Elisabeth...these kids made a mistake, albeit a big one, but it was a mistake caused by a lapse in judgment. Making them carry around a felony conviction for the next 70 years is not the answer. While I absolutely do not condone their actions in any way, I certainly don't want to condemn these kids to a lifetime of difficulty in gaining employment, housing, education, or any of the many other things that come with having a conviction of this nature. I hope the prosecutors see wisdom in giving these kids another chance.

I have a sneaking suspicion our Father in Heaven would find a way to forgive them - maybe you should follow his example.

wendell
provo, UT

Elisabeth,
I hope beyond anything that you never get a phone call from the police saying your child has done anything wrong, because I am not sure how you would handle it. As I'm sure you do not want to be called a hypocrite, I hope you would follow what you said in the letter and would desire that your child have a felony conviction for the rest of his/her life. Maybe you would, but I honestly believe most parents would want the state to offer their child some mercy along with a second chance. The rest of us have also made mistakes and have been given an opportunity to put it behind us. I'm hopeful the courts will be wise enough to do the same thing in this situation. I certainly believe those kids have learned their lessons and will never do something like this again. Yes, they will have to pay a price for their actions, but they do not need to have this hanging over their heads for the rest of their lives.

thpslc
Holladay, UT

I remember when my daughter wanted to join her friends in a high school prank. For some reason she shared it with me and I told her she couldn't do it. She feigned outrage and reminded me she was 18, but in the end didn't do it and convinced her friends not to do it. I think the reason she told me is because deep down, she wanted me to stop her. We have always had a very close relationship and I believe that helped in her decision on the prank and other important choices.
Somehow, not one but four kids decided the bottle bombs were a good idea. Seems none of their parents were in their ear reminding them of the consequences.
Parents need to stop these things from happening BEFORE they happen by being engaged and reminding their kids of consequences, not just when they are 10 years old but 18 years old too. I've always told my kids "you will make mistakes, just make sure they aren't the kind of mistakes that will haunt you the rest of your life."

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I see wendell's points but we also have to face the facts to as stated by Baron Scarpia. If these weren't White kids from the predominant religion and probably from upper middle class families in the Riverton area, we would be totally demanding that the book be thrown at them.

wendell
provo, UT

Baron and Howard,
You make a very good point, and for the most part I agree with what you said. However, I can assure you that I would not feel any differently even if they happened to be minority kids from blue-collar families. This entire situation is about 4 teenagers making a VERY VERY bad choice, but to me, their punishment and other necessary actions should not be determined by their race, religion, or economic or family backgrounds. Justice needs to be served here, but mercy and forgiveness should also play a role as this situation is played out.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

@ Wendell,

You summarize perfectly what is completely wrong in today's society.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that we don't hold others accountable for the actions they have made. Else, why have laws, courts, and judges? Just let everyone get away with anything because we "forgive" them.

Forgiveness? Miss Riverton should seek. But her price to pay to society? Has yet to be determined. Hopefully, she will be rewarded with the same exact consequences as you and I would receive... Or a minority at her same age would... a felony. Why look at these experiences in a negative light? These can be valuable teaching tools and serve as examples to other youngsters that "pranks" like these are no laughing matter. We will prevent damaged property, injury, and death.

We all decide our actions. But we do not get to decide their consequences.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Remember that the toughest job in the world is parenting and it's hard not to say "do as I say, not as I do". All this said, we just keep plugging along.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I am glad Wendell you feel the way you do and I agree that despite their foolishness they didn't have the intent to kill or injure though their actions might have. Justice must always be tempered with mercy. And justice should be color blind.

I look back to the case of the boy who killed the soccer referee. I think appropriate justice was meted out but the reactions on these blogs was quite curious. There was a presumption of a lot of things which about the boy and his family that proved untrue. It was later learned that this action was not typical of the boy and he was actually a very good student who tragically had a lapse of poor judgment.

Not that I'm a judge but a stiff fine for this particular case and some community service to me would be a fair judgment. That way justice is not robbed but still tempered with mercy and perhaps the individuals will learn from these actions in the deepest possible ways short of prison terms to make better life decisions going forward.

wendell
provo, UT

@ The Real Maverick

I think it's pretty clear you misunderstood what I was saying.

You wrote
"Forgiveness doesn't mean that we don't hold others accountable for the actions they have made. Else, why have laws, courts, and judges? Just let everyone get away with anything because we "forgive" them."

Yes, I believe they should be forgiven, but I never said we should not hold them accountable for their actions - I am in strong support of these kids having consequences for their very poor choices. My entire point was that a lifelong felony record for something like this is not appropriate. These kids need to go through the court process and face whatever consequences are deemed appropriate. I was simply stating that I hope there is some mercy here - this one act should not serve to destroy their lives.

Maybe you disagree with me on that, and I respect your right to feel however you choose, but please don't claim that I ever suggested these kids should face no consequences.

Owl
Salt Lake City, UT

Most citizens are happy to let the law run its course. Claiming that Utahns would feel differently if these kids were minorities is pure speculation. Like those who blame America first for everything wrong in the world, there are those who blame Utah first, irrespective of the facts. Such condescending comments are symptomatic of a deeper problem.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

There is a difference between paying for your crime and getting a felony conviction. Felony's should be reserved for the most serious of crimes. The government hands them out like candy.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

People who call 911 can be clueless. I was cleaning my pistol in my front yard as an apartment building I used to live at and someone called the police on me. The fact that people called 911 on these kids means nothing. What has to be looked at as what they actually did. Were they throwing these bombs at people are just out of the car on the sidewalk? Either way it's pretty dumb but only one of these deserves a felony the other deserves community service and a plea in abeyance.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

Anyone ever heard of "sin" (? ) which is doing something wrong, knowing it is wrong?

People do that. We understand it is done for the "payoff", whether fleeting popularity, money, advantage, a thrill of some kind.... We can plead for forgiveness, as people still sometimes do, forgiveness from God and from the courts, but society, through its courts hopefully, cannot ignore dangerous behavior. You can talk of justice and mercy, weighty matters, but finally we want something that works in each case, to deter a repetition of the behavior.

Ending as I began: when we do something wrong knowingly, we did not merely "make a mistake", "act silly", make a poor choice etc. We did all of these but, fundamentally we "sinned" against God and his other children. We can be repentant, we can make restitution, we can vow sincerely never to do it again. I agree that parents can often be, and are, the worst/best enablers of sin around.

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