(NaturalNews) The roles were reversed recently when a 36-year-old man was punished by police after he tried to discipline his eight-year-old son. The Kaui man has been sentenced to probation and forced to pay a $200 fine, all because he was trying to teach his misbehaving kid a lesson by making him walk a mile home from school.
This is a glaring example of police and courts overstepping their boundaries, trouncing on parental rights.
"I had no intent to harm my son," Robert De Mond said. "I wasn't angry at all. The way I raise my kids is I want them to be accountable for their actions. ... This got blown out of proportion."
Parent makes his child walk a mile home for misbehaving
The incident started when De Mond arrived at the Kilauea Elementary School to pick up his two older boys ages six and eight. When he found out that his eight-year-old had been put in time-out for misbehaving during an after-school program, he asked his boy why. His boy pouted and refused to answer him.
"I asked him, 'Why were you in time-out at A-Plus?'" De Mond said. "He told me, 'I don't know.' I asked him again and he said, 'I don't know.'"
De Mond told his his son, "I don't know is not an answer. You need to take responsibility for your actions. There has to be a reason that you were placed in time-out."
When his eight-year-old didn't respond, De Mond told him to "please walk home. When you walk home, you will have an answer better than 'I don't know.' And when you do come home you'll have an answer."
The boy was dropped off about a mile away from his home on a safe, rural highway with a wide shoulder. When De Mond drove off, his son didn't walk far. A neighbor down the road found the boy, brought him back to the school and called the police.
De Mond frantically searches for lost son and is arrested in the end
After De Mond got home, he decided to drive back down the highway to pick up his son. When he drove down the rural highway, he couldn't find his child.
"I was hollering his name, and he's nowhere to be found," he said. After calling his wife at work, De Mond searched the road three times. "At this point, I'm pretty frantic," he said. When he called the police to help, he was astonished to find out that his son was back at the elementary school.
When De Mond and his wife arrived at the school, they learned that their son was safe, but before he could even talk to his son, De Mond was met with police badges and handcuffs.
As The Garden Island newspaper reports, a Kauai Judge has sentenced De Mond to probation that includes parenting classes and a $200 fine. Judge Kathleen Watanabe was disgruntled with De Mond's parenting style, calling his punishment methods "old-school" and no longer appropriate. After going through two courts, De Mond has been charged with a misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a minor.
Parental rights stripped
This begs the question: When did constructive discipline become "endangerment of the welfare of a minor?"
A mile walk is a healthy form of discipline that can enhance the welfare of a minor.
When did police begin arresting parents for disciplining their children?
When did the courts start fining parents for making their child walk home from school?
The authorities have definitely overstepped their boundaries here and have no duty to intervene in this parent's choice of disciplinary action. The police should have reunited the child with his parents and let them go home together.
When it's all said and done, walking remains a healthy form of discipline. Just maybe next time, De Mond will take the walk with his child and talk the situation out with his son in a more loving manner.