Lately there has been considerable press coverage on youth offending and classroom chaos — suggesting that life lessons are the responsibility of schools — in other words teachers become substitute parents. Whatever happened to parental responsibility?

While I was in the police force we received a copy of the report of a special committee set up to investigate juvenile delinquency, commissioned by the government in 1954, listing their recommendations.

To compare 1954 with today's youth offending is an absurdity, but nevertheless, had the committee's advocacy been permanently enacted into the justice system and not undermined by political correctness gone mad, today's offending may not have gotten so out of control.

Perhaps some parents would not have so easily abrogated their responsibilities.

Advertisement

Briefly, the committee advocated that:

1. When young offenders are summoned to court the attendance of parents/guardians should be made compulsory.

2. Courts to have the power to require parents/guardians of offenders be liable to pay fines/restitution/costs and give security for future good behaviour.

3. It is a parent's responsibility to teach not to steal, assault others, take drugs — and that there are consequences for their actions.

Even back in 1954 it was noted that some parents showed a deplorable lack of concern for their children's upbringing, expecting schools to accept that role.

Today's teachers are seriously overloaded, trying to control behaviour as well as teaching the three Rs. They bear the brunt of youth violence with restrictive measures to impose "consequences".

The adage "When you make a poor decision which adversely affects others you must accept the consequences" should be instilled in a home environment.

M LARCOMBE
Ōpua

Advertisement