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Holding parents accountable

August 27, 2013 • Editorial

Where are the parents?

It’s a popular question that arises whenever violence involving teens erupts, as it has this summer. The idea that parents have the primary responsibility for keeping their teenagers and younger children in line is sound, of course. Parents certainly are the front line teachers of right and wrong, and the first defense against their children breaking the law.

But what happens when parents fail, out of ineptitude, dysfunction, or both?

Several states and cities have passed laws that try to hold parents legally responsible if their children are arrested. Many of the laws date to the 1980s and 1990s when a surge in youth violence pushed the issue to the front of the public’s attention. California, for example, adopted the Street Login to read more

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