After reading this story this week I have been thinking whether there is any right punishment?
The story is of a 15 year old being racially motivated to harm another human being – pushing a teenager holding a 7 month old baby into a bus lane. At first I looked at the story of a teenager pushing a child intentionally into a bus lane. Reading the piece again I notice that it was in fact an indirect attack with events happening before.
I think of me as a 14 year old girl and the pushing of each other into the main road while waiting for a bus home from school (obviously in my case this scuffles were between groups of friends and were not racially motivated).
At the moment we are teaching our ideas of right and wrong to our child without even knowing it or even enforcing it. To think of my daughter at 15 hurting a 7 month old baby or any other aged human being is incomprehensible to me. My beliefs though are introducing a a more holsitic approach to punishment, using descriptive methods to explain why certain actions should not be used. As a child of more physical punishment I am keen to encourage our daughters growth with explanation, example and description. However I understand that every child is different and other parents have other methods that work for them and thier child.
Some may be angry at the sentence of a year of empathy and anger management classes and the £50 fine – custodial sentences are not an option for the under 16’s. I agree that the punishment seems minimal but thinking through it depends on the knowledge and depth of teaching the individual receives to re-educate them so that there is no chance of re offending again.
On the other hand I am left wondering how events led to this and what we can do as individuals….what are we teaching our children about the world to encourage such actions?
It makes me angry to think that there are still racist and violent people out there – those that have children and by no effort pass on their thoughts, morals and encourage actions without a thought of a consequence.
What are we teaching in our homes, within our friend and family circles and in our schools for the next generation to understand each other, other cultures, other areas of life that we should embrace and appreciate not disregard because they are not what we have previously experienced. Just because our parents, grand parents and great grandparents were unaware this does not mean we should carry on the same.
I am lucky to live in a city that is so culturally diverse it’s excites me every day that Fizz will have a choice of so much to develop herself, her personality and her own beliefs.
Do you think this was the right punishment? How do you feel about this case? Is there ever a right punishment?