Kids should work off their damages
The lead story in the Jan. 15 paper reported the vandalism of a new school amounting to $20,000 in damages. The culprits were ages 12 and 13. I hope their sentence will fit the crime. Maybe there would be less vandalism if the judge would sentence them, and future vandals, to work off the damages.
They could mop school floors under the supervision of a school janitor or mow school lawns under supervision, at minimum wage, until they erase the entire $20,000 debt.
There would be screams of outrage, but come on, don't fine the parents. Let these boys learn for themselves that they are responsible for their own actions, and how much $20,000 represents in hard work. They'll become better adults.
Please don't anyone protest they are "just children." My first job, in 1940, started two weeks after my 13th birthday, detasseling hybrid seed corn in Indiana's heat and humidity for 12 hours a day, six days a week for 25 cents an hour. I was proud to be earning my own money and so were the other kids.
Also in the Jan. 15 paper was an article regarding a 27-year-old woman who, while drunk and talking on a cell phone, ran into a pickup truck killing a man and putting his pregnant wife in a coma. She was sentenced to five years' probation, during which time she must carry a photo of the man she killed in his casket. Although I think the sentence was inappropriately light, carrying the photo of the man she negligently killed fit the crime.
Also, a few years ago, I read of a Texas judge who sentenced a 16-year-old drive-by shooter. Although he hit no one, he could have. The judge sentenced him to view an autopsy to see the possible results of his actions. How appropriate!