Do you think it was appropriate for this father to be arrested and punished for making his 8 year old son walk a mile home?
KILAUEA, HI ? A father was arrested when he gave his son the ?old school? punishment of walking one-mile home from school to think about what he had done.
Robert De Mond, 36, said that when he picked up his 8-year-old son from school, he refused to tell say what had earned him a punishment from teachers. The Star Adviser reported what happened next:
?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.??
He told 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.?
A mile from their house, he dropped his son off and asked 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,? he said.
De Mond said the stretch of the two-lane roadway ? Kuhio Highway ? is in a safe, rural area with acre-size agricultural lots, and a wide shoulder, 10 to 25 feet wide, where it?s not uncommon to see people walking or riding their bikes.
In many people?s lives, walking to get places isn?t a punishment, it is a daily reality; the norm; how one gets places. However in Police State USA, a parent who allows their son to walk somewhere is arrested.
When a neighbor picked up the boy and called police, Mr. De Mond was arrested at his son?s school. He was charged with second-degree endangerment of the welfare of a minor. Mr. De Mond pleaded no contest.
The judge, Kathleen Watanabe, ruled that the punishment was ?old-fashioned? and inappropriate. Walking was considered a punishment too severe to inflict on a child. Parents who discipline their children with walks risk criminal charges.
?These are different times,? Judge Kathleen Watanabe scolded, according to the Garden Island. ?It is understandable that you became upset with your son, but it is dangerous for children to walk along the highway, and there are predators out there.?
Mr. De Mond was ordered to take parenting classes, pay the government $200. He is on probation for a year. If he is caught walking his son anywhere he risks jail time.
?It?s been pretty hard on the kids,? De Mond commented, adding that the family just wanted to put this behind them.