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April 15th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Penalizing parents if their kids misbehave at school?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

British parents could soon be fined if their kids act up in school... A new government study across the pond takes a look at different ways to keep children in line in the classroom. It suggests that it's time for parents to "share the responsibility for maintaining discipline."

Cafferty: Parents may take more of an interest in disciplining their kids if they have to shell out a few bucks each time they misbehave.

Now there's an idea...

Parents can be fined the equivalent of $75 if their kids are caught in a public place without a good reason within the first five days of being suspended or expelled. The fine doubles if it's not paid within a month. And - parents have to be interviewed by teachers before their child is allowed to return to school.

Schools can also require parents of children who are misbehaving to take parenting classes. If they don't attend, they can be fined up to $1,500.

These guidelines come as teachers warn that existing methods of disciplining students were failing. The Telegraph reports that some schools have been handing out prizes if kids promise to behave - things like plasma screen TVs and iPods - instead of punishing them if they act up.

U.S. schools should pay close attention to how this experiment works. My guess is parents of disruptive little mutants might take more of an interest in disciplining them if they have to shell out a few bucks each time they misbehave. And then the teachers might actually be able to get down to teaching.

Here's my question to you: Is it a good idea to penalize parents if their children misbehave at school?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Brian from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania writes:
I'm a big fan of symmetry, so can we take this one step further and award funds collected from the miscreants to the families of children who do behave? That would provide an extra dose of humiliation to those thinking that a little $75 fine is a small price to pay for letting little Johnny express himself freely.

John from San Diego writes:
If my parents had been fined for my poor behavior in school, there would have been hell to pay – for me! It could work.

Mike writes:
That is a stupid idea. It is up to the teachers to maintain discipline. The parents should be notified of any actions taken, but to penalize parents is about as dumb as it gets. The school should be given the authority within reason to punish the kids. That is one of the problems – the schools do not have enough latitude.

Terry writes:
Thank you so much. At long last someone seems to be "getting it." As a classroom teacher, I commend this effort to control behavior in our schools. Parents have been unwilling and school districts refuse to address this issue. Instead, the hallways have become war zones controlled by thugs and misguided students who think they come to school for a handout.

Erica from New York writes:
As a nanny, and former teacher's aide, I know that as good as this sounds, it will not work. No matter what fines or penalties are imposed, you cannot make parents care. Too many of today's parents are stressed out and would rather give the kid what he wants rather than do the right thing.

Dave from Florida writes:
Jack, Thank God! This needs to happen all across society, not just in school! Finally, finally parents are forced to take responsibility for the kids they squeeze out. Like you said, Jack, a "novel" idea.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (209 Responses)
  1. Charles, Lansing, MI

    Having children includes the responsibility of feeding, clothing, educating and disciplining them until they are adults. That includes sending a responsible child to school. Anyone not prepared to take on this responsibility has no business having children,

    April 15, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  2. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    I think it's a great idea. If you let your child run wild in your own home that's fine. But it's not fine if that behavior carries over to a place where it is detrimental to other people. How would you feel if the quality of your child's education dropped because the behavior of another child was holding up the lesson plan? Civilization is for the civilized.

    April 15, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  3. Melissa

    I think its totally pointless.

    April 15, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  4. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I think our "culture" has transitioned from just a litigious one ( and that
    became bad enough) to a prosecutorial one ! If all those earning prosecution are prosecuted, only the unborn will be free to pay taxes they now owe !

    April 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  5. Mark, Bradenton,FL

    No we should bring back the old rules like all students must wear uniforms and get a beating if they misbehave. Liberal approach has brought us that far.

    April 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  6. E Kaplan Miami

    It's not a bad idea however I eventually turned out alright even though I had many mischievous moments during my elementary school years. If they had penalized my parents during that time they would probably be doing highway detail for the DOT to this day. Okay that is a little harsh, how about cafeteria duty. I think it depends on the situation but should be considered since many parents never get involved with what their kids do in school or who they associate with.

    April 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  7. DE Joe

    Parents should be liable for their children's behavior. Minght act as a deterent.

    April 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  8. Ray in Nashville

    At some point, parents have to realize that their kids just might be to blame for something. Most refuse to do this, no matter what evidence supports the charges. If parents refuse to control their kids at school, then they should be held accountable.

    April 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  9. Conor in Chicago

    No. I know plenty of wonderful parents that have terrible children just as I know plenty of wonderful kids that have terrible parents. One should not be punished for the other.

    April 15, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  10. Keith - Twinsburg, OH

    The parents are responsible for their children from conception until they are 18...

    This subject didn't need a discussion when I was a kid.

    It's time to treat the cause of the problem instead of the symptom.

    April 15, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  11. Mike Syracuse, NY

    If we did it maight get their attention.

    April 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  12. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Absolutely Jack
    Its about time we stop blaming teachers for not baby sitting grown kids and blaming them for not taking the parents responsibility.
    Yes the parents should be held to the fire and do a better job or pay the fines.
    David

    April 15, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  13. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Yes, and if they can't raise their child properly, then they should be barred from having more children. In fact, you should have to get a license to have a child. There should be training and education in order to have a child.

    April 15, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  14. jyll in Texas

    Now Jack, what kind of can of worms are you trying to open up in here today....as a teacher I would love to see some of these parents held accountable for their kids behavior....but it won't EVER work...these type of parents should NEVER have had kids to begin with....

    Jyll in Texas

    April 15, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  15. Parent in PA

    I believe parents should be held accountable for their childs actions Jack . Parents need to take an active role in raising their kids nowdays , not expect the schools to teach them right from wrong . A school is for education , not to take the place of a parent/parents in raising a child .

    April 15, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  16. Paul Austin, Texas

    Yes, maybe then some of the disrespect that so many kids have will be tamed down. A school is for learning and is not meant to be put in the same category as pet boarding. In that light I know people that take better care and training of their pets than their kids.

    April 15, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  17. don (in naples, florida)

    school is like the real world only with smaller more immature people. if we can't trim or eliminate bad behavior in the real world, does it seem likely that we could do it in the schools.... You might try it, but i don't think you would have that much success.

    April 15, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  18. BRUCE, ST PAUL, MN

    Would we also have to penalize teachers if the kids misbehave at home?

    April 15, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  19. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Absolutely, it all starts at home, ultimately the parents are responsible. Too many parents are dumping their kids at school and think the teachers are babysitters and disiplinarians. Not so these people are supposed to be " teaching "

    April 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  20. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Absolutely not--–do you throw out the baby with the wash? I remember misbehaving in school -–and when the principal (who happen to be a Catholic nun) applied the discipline-–well-–it completely changed my life---and for the better.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  21. Anil Kumar

    Its a very good move... Teacher are better in knowledge parting; lets give them more time to do that. Parents should take more responsibility for thier children's acts.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  22. Jim from Chicago

    Sure it is, Jack. If the parents won't discipline their child, it puts undue pressure on the school to do so. Somebody has to be the adult here. Overindulged or behavior problem children cannot be allowed to keep others from learning.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  23. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    I've got a better idea Jack. Instead of suspending them for a week, put the kid in a sweat shop making sneakers for $2 day. Give them a taste of what their future holds unless they straighten up.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  24. pat

    no.WE tried punishing our child for his behavior in school and we were sued for our trouble.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  25. Ray Kinserlow

    Not a bad idea, but how about rewarding parents of children who excel both in academics and behavior?

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    April 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  26. Michael H., Albuquerque, NM

    Another Promblem-Reaction-Solution issue that in the end is used to provide the state with revenue, while controlling the population. We set up our governments with our tax dollars and trust, and all they do is look for excuses to punish us and take our property. Will this make us discipline our children, or motivate us to join our kids in rebellion?
    Since parents are also penalized when they DO discipline their kids, I think the state should mind its own business...or else.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  27. Diana NJ

    Over the years the government has interfered with parents rights... and all the kids little and small talk about their rights.. so the way I see it parents have been striped of their rights to control their children... and now when no one can control them.... you want to fine the parents...No way..

    I have seen and heard little kids threaten their mothers to get what they want by saying they will call 911

    April 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  28. Daniel Indiana

    I may be mistaken, but it would seem as though such practices here in America would place another burden on the low and lower-middle classes of America. These people get the brunt of all "punishments" and you wish to add more. That would merely be another tax that would hurt them, like all of the banking fees and high interest rates, sales taxes and.... you get the idea.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  29. Scott, Wichita

    YES.
    I've seen too many of these disruptive, undiciplined kids getting away with things because spanking is frowned upon these days.

    If they grow up believing they can get away with anything, they will fail in life. Teach them dicipline, and they might have a chance to fit into modern society.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  30. The Broker.

    I half agree with this... A British Woman, sent to prison for keeping her child at home; I don`t agree with....

    April 15, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  31. Jim/NC

    Excellent idea to fine the parents if children misbehave. In addition, why not fine the teachers for teaching well? We could cover both sides of the equation.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  32. Chris in Philadelphia

    Hit parents in the pocket book. That should get their attention. It's sad that parents often could care less what their kids do, but money might just be the answer. The parents need to be involved.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  33. Geri - Mead,Oklahoma

    As a teacher sub, I agree with the new British model. It just may work and it's worth a try. There are many parents who tuned out, indifferent, and too comfortably numb, which shows up in their children's bhavior and grades.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  34. Mike of Hot Springs.

    That is a stupid idea. It is up to the teachers to maintain discipline. The parents should be notified of any actions taken but to penalize parents is about as dumb as it gets. The school should be given the authority within reason to punish the kids. That is one of the problems – the schools do not have enough latitude.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  35. J Georgia

    Why not go ahead and punish the grandparents as well? And maybe we can punish their teachers, too. And thier scout troop leaders as well. When oh when are we going to hold individuals accountable and stop with the VICTIM excuses.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  36. Syed Rahman - Michigan

    Parents should definitely be penalized along with the teachers. Isn't it the job of our teachers to keep students in check. At the same time kids should not be rewarded for good behavior. Their incentive should simply be that good behavior would prevent any penalties.

    April 15, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  37. Natalie

    Yes - and we should fine them when their little hooligans commit crimes & other public mischief to entertain their friends online as well. Adults need regain control and take responsibility for their children before our society completely turns into a George Orwell novel. If fines are what it takes to get them to do their jobs as parents, so be it.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  38. Ken in NC

    Jack, I don’t need to be penalized a second time Jack. My mother cursed or penalized me with the “Grandmother Curse”. She said that she hoped when I grow up and have kids that they would be just like I used to be when I was growing up. To penalize me for them misbehaving in school would constitute a double penalty.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  39. Steven R

    The government must stay out of its citizens' lives. Should we fine Bush 41 for his son's reign of terror?

    April 15, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  40. Esteban

    I have a 17 year old and a 9 year old and they both know that behaving in an inappropriate manner will not be tolerated in our house . Both are at the top of their classes and leaders on their respective teams at competitive level sports, while their friends are dropping out or failing in school. When punishment is necessary we all have to pay, why because we failed just as much as they did. That means no TV, no video games, and no going out to bowl or watch a movie. I absolutely believe this has kept my boys on straight and narrow and they are very happy young men. How many 17 year olds tell their dads about the girlfriend, or show them the car they see themselves in. Parents must be just as accountable for their kids actions as the child is. If they fail as individuals it is only because we failed them as parents. And for that (I feel) there is no punishment or fine high enough to redeem us.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  41. Michelle

    Flat out, "YES". This is an excellent idea. We as parents are ultimately responsible for how our children act. You know that 3 strikes rule? That should apply as well. Kids are in school to learn the 3 R's not to be terrorized or to do the terrorizing. Letting you know its an excellent idea from South Eastern Michigan.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  42. Karen - TN

    Yes. Teachers are already expected to teach disabled children and those who don't speak English in the same classroom as both extremely bright and struggling children. Why should they also be expected to deal with unruly, spoiled kids and the overly protective parents who have caused the damage? I say kick the ball back into the home court.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  43. Forrest in North Dakota

    Not a bad idea Jack. Operant conditioning has been proven to be very effective in lab animals. Perhaps with a few strong applications of the Board of Education to the backsides of these delinquent parents, they might be compelled in turn to do the same to their little brats. A little corporal punishment in the form of a good spanking, more often than not, IS a strong deterent to bad behavior.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  44. Dave from Florida

    Jack, THANK GOD! This needs to happen all across society, not just in school! FINALLY, FINALLY parents are forced to take responsibility for the kids they squeeze out, like you said Jack, "NOVEL" idea

    April 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  45. Matt from Nebraska

    What ever happened to parents teaching their children personal responsibility and to do well in school. If this gets parents to do their job, then sure! If you don't want to be active in your child's education and their lives, then why have children?

    April 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  46. Fred Stock

    It's nice to see that "Legal Guardian" actually means the parents are legally responsible for their kids. It's about time!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  47. Dan Nelis

    British Thinking, How silly, I can only imagine that your parents would probably have gone broke.......

    April 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  48. Johanna- Virginia

    I think it's a great idea to penalize parents for their children's misbehavior in school. Discipline begins at home, and with a financial consequence attached to their child's behavior, parents will take a bigger interest in their actions and discipline styles.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  49. ed from toronto

    Would the NEA give permission for this to be done ? Of course, school trustees and parents must get permission from the teachers' unions before they do anything.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  50. Stacie

    I think it is a great idea. The parents should learn how to take care of their kids and teach them some respect!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  51. Georgette, Manalapan, NJ

    I'd be willing to pay a fine if the government would be willing to let me paddle my kid's behind when he or she misbehaved to the point where I had to pay a fine. This time-out stuff is a waste of time.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  52. Dave in good old Saint Lou!

    Yes! No child left behind does not mean Jack (excuse the pun) if parents don't give a bleep what there kid does at school! No child left behind needs to keep Teachers and PARENTS accountable or it just simply can't work!!!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  53. Linda Ruth

    That sounds like a great plan to me. Most students who misbehave come from situations where they do as they please. Then schools have to deal with their poor behavior. If the parents had to share the suffering of the classroom teacher, there might be some improvement which would be beneficial to all students. Bring it on!!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  54. zita

    Thanks Jack, something to talk about rather than politics and recession.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  55. Aaron - denver

    If teenagers know their parents get fined when they misbehave that gives them the power of blackmail and leverage to get what they want, better yet, make the kids pay directly, and if they cant afford it, then they should get a job. Everyone in my generation had a job at 15, and we turned out pretty good...

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  56. phillip ray

    excellent idea about billing parents of unrully kids

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  57. Andrew Harris

    Send the blasted things to boot camp. Every time I did something out of line, I was yeld at beyond belief. It's unfair those that make the effort to do right than those that extort and learn nothing in the end.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  58. Duane

    Give each student's family an "account" with $500 in it at the start of the school year. Then deduct a penalty from the account for each misbehavior. The parents get what's left at the end of the year.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  59. Michelle

    I am a teacher. Every minute I am dealing with misbehavior is one less minute I can teach. Lost time in the classroom represents lost learning, and this is harmful to our country. It effects everyone. So, it is about time that we effectively penalize classroom disruption.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  60. Lothar Krepke

    No... It's a terrible idea because yet again, it encourages focus on those behaving in ways we hope to decrease. If, instead, we found ways to reward parents for the good behavior of their kids, we'd be likely to see more of that...

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  61. E Owens

    Great idea we already have to have a license to drive a car and can be punished through fines why not kids

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  62. David

    Of course there should be a penalty for misbehavior in shcool. Maybe parents will actually begin to disapline thier children instead of blaming the school system or the other children. Parents need to teach thier children to take responsibility for thier actions and if thier not going to do that then they can take responsibility and pay out of pocket.

    David

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  63. Grace

    You Bet!!!! Its long overdue. Parents are the main reason our
    children are failing in every aspect of daily life. Its time to own up
    to our own faults and stop the madness.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  64. Rex Phelps

    I teach in an urban high school fraught with fighting and violence every day. Parents need to take accountibility for their children. Sending the ill behaved out is the best thing in the world, fining the parents moves it that much closer to an already perfect solution!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  65. Michael L.

    Finning parents for the bad behavior of their children is just wrong. Studies in the past have proved that the children that are causing the majority of the problems in a classroom are those children who come from low-income families. Finning parents of these children is like asking these same parents to pay to have their children beat, also another occurance frequented in low-income families.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  66. Christinna Landon

    Yeah!!! Someone finally said it,
    "When will parents be responsible for their kids?"
    I am a teacher and we are tired of raising your kids and have you blaming us. Not all parents...most are great. It's just 10% or so and that's enough!

    WE OUGHT TO CHARGE THEM HERE.But we won't do that here because this is the land of entitlement, where parents don't have to be responsible for ....well you know!
    C

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  67. Joe

    That seems like the most ingenious idea to try and make parents be the one's responsible for the kid.

    The kid is their priority and must learn well in the classroom to succeed out of school.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  68. J - Portland, Oregon

    Yes and no. On the one hand it's not unlikely that this would help some parents discipline their children, or rein them in when they're out of control. But on the other hand there are far too many abusive parents in the world and many of them would just see this as a legitimate reason to beat their kids.

    In fact, most of the behavioral problems children have in school are directly related to parents who punish their children too harshly or unfairly. I feel like this would only make things worse.

    And is there any way you can get me Brianna Keilar's phone number?

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  69. Jonathan - Baltimore

    Jack what ever happened to out children? We are raising a generation of kids who will not know how to live let alone run the country one day. Fine the parents and put that money towards the national debt!!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  70. Graham

    Sounds like a good idea, but the kids might start find out how to extort their parents by threatening them with misbehavior in school.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  71. Liz - Kingston, New York

    You raise them, you take responsibility for their actions. Too many parents pay too little attention to the needs of their children.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  72. Terri

    Thank you so much. At long last someone seems to be "gettin it". As a classroom teacher, I commend this effort to control behavior in our schools. Parents have been unwilling and school districts refuse to address this issue. Instead, the hallways have become war zones controlled by thugs and misguided students that think they come to school for a handout.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  73. Julia Christian

    AGREED!
    it's about damn time people stop blaming television and peer-influence for kids' misbehavior. hit parents where it hurts and make them do their most crucial job.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  74. Roland

    Hey Jack, if the Goverment stay out of the homes and let the parents deal with there kids theold fashioned way our kids would be just fine

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  75. don Hastings

    I teach school. I think anytime you hold BOTH parents and students accountable (we are already the ones to be held accountable), the results are always better.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  76. Claudia Smith

    I'm a huge advocate of birth control. Why do parents have children and then feel surprised about how much work they are? It is not required that people have children. Good grief!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  77. Avianca

    I think it's an experiment worth trying. As a high school history teacher, I deal with teenagers on a daily basis. If their parent's had to pay every time they were disruptive or disrespectful, the school would actually have money to buy books and supplies needed for school.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  78. Brandon - Olympia, WA

    Extorting things from adults through good behavior? You mean like how children are rewarded at Christmas for being good all year?

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  79. Susan - Plano, TX

    Jack,

    I would like to see this happens. Parents are responsible for their kids' beahvior and this would work toward parents' benefit to discipline wild kids with pain...get the money from kids' allowance..they money talks.

    Susan
    Plano, TX

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  80. Dean

    Seems like a good idea. I'd rather have the school spend their time and my money educating my child, than fining me even more money and making me pay for my kid, or some other kid's iPod, TV, and whatnot.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  81. TL Storrs

    Penalizing parents of elementary school children makes loads of sense. However, older student should be held accountable themselves. We apply the same standard socially (looking a parents with a jaundiced eye when their 5 year old throws a tantrum over a piece of candy in a store, but looking at teenagers when they use profanity against teachers)

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  82. Niel

    That's a start, I remember those days when bad behavior was reward by slamming a ruler over your knuckles. I learned lot of lessons that way and my punches became better too.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  83. daye

    yes they should be penalized because those children are the ambassador of there family

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  84. Ron Ouellette

    Jack,
    If parents did their jobs its a good bet that their kids would NOT
    misbehave in school. In our generation we would not dare give
    our parents a bad time, at least not in my house. My father kicked
    my butt a few times and Mom backed him up with love and the
    nurturing necessary to teach me how to behave. They paid for
    Catholic schools and did not take any of my guff and I did not
    turn out so bad, so what's the problem, parents doing their
    jobs, that's the problem.
    Ron – Florida

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  85. David

    It's sad we have to come to this point. If a monetary fine is what it takes to make people understand that education of our children starts at home, then I applaud the effort and totally support it.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  86. Old Codger

    It is way past time to start holding parents accountable for their failures with their bratty kids. For too long society has made schools surrogate parents. Of course, for the proposal to work, some of the laws concerning how parents can discipline their children need to be revisited.

    I wouldn't teach in an American school for all the money in the world. I now teach in a foreign country where the parents are involved – and take the teacher's side rather than blaming the teacher for their kids not learning.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  87. Brett

    YES! I recently began substitute teaching this past winter and know firsthand what today's teachers go through. The utter disregard for good behavior is amazes me. There are kids that come to school to learn and then there are the ones whom goal of the day is to test the teacher to the limit. Sadly, the ones who come to school to cause havoc are becoming the majority. Even more sad, their parents do not give a sh*t.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  88. Jack Daniel, Terre Haute, IN

    My family has been in the teaching profession for over 50 years. Todays kids have lost respect, manners, and character. It is the parents who have let this happen. hit em where it hurts , the pocket.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  89. Jacob Wolfe

    Of course the parents should be penalized. Kids don't learn from fancy electronics, they learn from knowing that their parents will make them face the consequences when they get home.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  90. robert george

    i think parents should be fined. if they pay enough in fines they may start disaplining their kids better

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  91. Joe FL

    Think this is a great idea. Parents should be held liable for their childrens actions. No more blaming teachers because your child is failing. The parents will pay more attention to what their child is doing in school if they are held accountable.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  92. JP

    Jack,
    I think kids in school now a days dont realize how fortunate they are in going to school compared to poor children living all around the world. I want to send misbehaving kids to do social service. When I was a kid I was happy going to school because my father worked 15 hours a day and spend all of it on my education.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  93. Ed Bassett Sr

    How can we here in the U.S of A disciplin our kids if we get charged with child abuse when the little brat tells about it or even calls the cops himself??? Government has taken away the rights of parents .
    I am 75 years old and I still recall that just knowing I'd get a licking for acting up kept me from doing so. Come on - we have been forced to spare the rod too long!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  94. Jennie

    Dear Jack,
    Penalizing parents monetarily might sound like a good idea, but some parents will just pay the fine and do nothing.

    You need to get the parents where it really hurts. Require them to come to school, take classes with their kids, and see what the teachers are up against. If it is inconvenient and it takes them away from their jobs where they loose money, it will work better than just writing a check. As a retired teacher, I can tell you that it is an eye opener for parents. They will take a whole different stance once they realize that teachers do a lot more than just talk and babysit.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  95. Bill

    Let's go back to what was free, a good old fashioned paddling! If the kids continue to act up after being paddled then bring the parents in and have them bend over and grab their ankles!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  96. Tim

    I'm a substitute teacher in Ohio and I can say that students today are horrible. I have been in schools where a 1st grader cut a teacher and was in the office daily for fighting and fourth graders who are constantly fighting and break bones due to these fights which take place some times in the class room. Now these aren't even inner city schools I'm referring to, so I can only imagine where those schools are going. Something needs to be done. I remember the days when if the child got in trouble at school, there would be hell to pay at home. Either allow the paddle or institute these fines. Something has to be done, and done NOW! Let the Teachers, TEACH not baby sit.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  97. Reed Ide

    Parents are absolutely responsible for raising their children to behave within civilized norms, and to show respect for those who are working to insure they actually have the tools they need to succeed in life. Parents shouldn't necessary be charged fines if their children misbehave. But children who disrupt the classroom at the expense of other students must be sent back to parents who must understand they bear the responsibility to rectify the behavior.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  98. Barry Verona

    So, having already legally taken away the parents rights to discipline their children, someone is now suggesting that parents share the responsibility for maintaining discipline?

    Am I missing something here?

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  99. Kathie

    OMG! I love it! The idea of making parents accountable for their kid's behavior is perfect! My husband & I have fought to stay informed of our son's behavior at school. We are firm believers in holding our children to high standards. This would give teachers permission to involve the parents without being seen as "incapable" of handling the matter themselves. And I agree, I wouldn't step FOOT in a classroom as any kind of authority now-days!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  100. Chris

    Two simple words....HECK YEA...the PG answer

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  101. supernanny

    I think more parents need to be given an education about the most important job in the world; "parenting." I think parenting skills should be taught in the schools along with sex education, maybe than many people won't become parents that shouldn't be. The other matter would relate to the economy, where parents may have to have two jobs to support a family and so their children suffer, because they dont; have time for the other things their kids need after food, clothing,shelter and healthcare.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  102. Peggy Dunn

    This is so typical of the public school system. If a kid is misbehaving at school the parents are not responsible. You cannot be responsible for something someone does when you are not there. Also there may be some psychological issues or leaning disabilities involved which means the children will not get the help they need. All the schools care about is the behavior of the children but they have no idea how to get kids to cooperate. First treat them with respect, treat them like people and instead of running the school like the military as it has been run since it was created in the late 1800's, come into the 21st century. They could take a lesson from Maria Montessori who used children's natural inclinations to explore and learn to create an environment where there is less misbehaving because curiousity is welcomed not squashed.

    Peggy Dunn

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  103. Bill

    No, I don't think its a good idea. If the school teacher community has digressed enough as an "adult" population to not be able or allowed to discipline children in thier charge, then the allowable punishments should be elevated or the "adults" that are the teachers should be replaced because they obviously aren't suited for a leadership position such as a teacher.

    Penalizing parents for thier childrens behavior when the child in not in thier care could be paralelled to charging parents for a childs crime and sending the parents to jail or fining them for thier.

    When does the insanity stop?

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  104. Stephen Smith

    I think something has to be done to motivate parents. Today's parents are far too relaxed about bad behavior, and give away all leverage by offering prizes for behaviors that should be expected. Reward what is above expectations. This prepares the child for the rest of their life by rewarding the amazing things they are capable of, but I see far too many children being handed rewards merely for "not misbehaving". The idea of fining parents at least hits them in the one place where it universally hurts... the checkbook.

    Stephen Smith
    Holly Springs, NC

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  105. Stacy Christenson

    This a truely great idea from a country that has given the world many great ideas. Too many parents foist the results of their failed parenting skills on the overburdened and underpaid teachers of the world with impunity. Make these moron parents pay the freight for their failures and things might change in the classroom. Additionally, while something as simple as driving a car requires education and licensing, so should the complex and difficult task of parenting. All parents should be required to take parenting classes before leaving the hospital and then again before their children are admitted to school.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  106. Barb Frazier

    I think it is a great idea. My kids are in elementary school and are constantly complaining about the 2-3 kids in each class, that disrupts everyone else that is actually interested in learning. Maybe if these parents were fined, they would then actually become interested in how their kids behave in school. Money can be a great insentive when all else fails.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  107. Ru

    I think this is a great idea! For years parents have been shirking their responsibilities, pumping out kids and leaving them to other people to deal with. Worse yet, when some of these people do "parent" they only teach their children how to be horrible people under the radar. These people are not contributing anything useful to society and no government has the time to parent thousands of kids because lazy adults don't want to take responsibility. If this works in Britain a similar system should be brought to America. It is not the school's job to be parents!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  108. Tom

    HELL YES it's time parents are made accountable for their childrens behavior!!!!!!!!!!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  109. Jonathan

    Only punish the parents if the parents don't want their children punished. Let parents sign a waiver letting teachers use corporal punishment. A few licks of a belt usually kept me in line. If they don't want to sign, then they can pay.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  110. Chandra, LAX

    Ah punishment! Just like the driver of a car gets the ticket if his/her passenger/s do not wear the seat belt!! Brilliant Idea!!!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  111. Bedford

    I think that is wonderful. Parents who think teaching is up to just the teachers are usually the parents with the disruptive children.. When I was a kid my dad had to miss work to come to my school when I got in trouble..Needless to say that didn't happen more than twice
    Parents don't have to do that anymore so yes FINE THEM..if they have forfeit money the parents will take more initiative!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  112. Bill Russell

    Jack, yes it is a good idea to penalize parents for the misbehavior of their children in school. I like the UK fine ideas but they should carry it a bit further and require both the parent and student to go to detention. It might not be a bad idea to film some of the worst behaving classes and show the films to the detention group. I'm sure the embarassment facctor would make a big difference for some parents.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  113. Mark VanGelder

    This is a brilliant idea. Here in Memphis, Tennessee, many parents blame the school system for their out of control kids. These same parents allow their kids to do exactly as they please at home, so naturally they are going to act out in school. This method of fining parents will force them to take seriously the disciplining of their children. The school system is basically powerless without parents getting involved.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  114. jim

    I dont think so,there is enough people prying into my privacy and my wallet these days. I wonder how much control of individuals is ever going to be enough for these liberals!!!!!!!!11

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  115. Tsuzuki-VA

    I believe that is a good idea. Since it will -in a sense- force the parents to finally punish their children when they cross the line, instead of standing there like mindless zombies who think that other adults(teachers) will take care of it for them. It's unfair for the teachers, daycare providers, and anyone else who didn't spawn these little mutants to go through their days with such difficulties.

    Really, I cannot stand those little kids who whine, cry, and throw a stupid tantrum out in public just because they can't get a toy, eat whatever they want and etc. The new generations are causing a serious problem, and it's only going to get worse as they grow up.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  116. Dana

    I think fining the parent is ridiculous! Especially in today's economy. Maybe people need to get back into Disciplining thier kids instead of this ridiculous time out B.S. Its time to go back to Old School on the kids!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  117. Sara Gibson

    As a middle school teacher that has to put up with disruptive behavior every day from students, YES parents should be held accountable. These kids are learning behaviors from their parents and if they see that their parents aren't held accountable, what motivation do the kids have to do the right thing? Many of the issues we have in school stem from the "best friend" relationship parents have with their CHILDREN – not their peers. My fellow colleages and I have done everything possible to correct behavior, and until the students see that the consequences do not end at school, we will be fighting a losing battle.

    I spend 9-11 hours at school each day AND take work home with me most nights. The last thing I should have to deal with is mouthy, rude pre-teenagers. Parents need to start parenting again.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  118. John from New Jersey

    I don't understand why this is seen as a new thing. The DOD schools for the military have been doing this for a while. If a child caused alot of problems at school, their father or mother would hear about it from their commander. If it was bad enough, it was put in the parent's personal file. I even know of a kid who had his mother and siblings shipped back with him to the states from oversees because the father wasn't keeping the child in check. By the way, the schools were great schools because of this!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  119. John Yanno

    I am an inner-city teacher with 10 years experience. I find that the kids who act out the most live in the worst conditions. Forcing the parents of these children to attend parenting classes they don't have the time to attend (because they are working multiple jobs) and making them pay fines with money they don't have (because they barely have enough money to put food on the table) is unrealistic. How about we tax the rich and provide quality jobs, housing, health care, child care, and education for all. That would improve the lives of the working class and improve behavior.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  120. Doug Ruffier

    Finally, someone has come to their senses! After 22 years in the classroom, I have found ways to discipline students that work for 90% of the population, but the 10% takes up an inordinate amount of my time. These are the students who need parental guidance and are not getting it. Bring this idea to the U.S. but add heavy fines for children who fail to attend school as required. The current slap on the hand is not working. When we have parent teacher conferences, it is usually clear from whence the student behavior comes. "The apple, indeed, does not fall far from the tree!"

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  121. Niel

    That's a start, I remember those days when bad behavior was reward by slamming a ruler over your knuckles. I learned lot of lessons that way and my punches became better too.

    Monterey, CA

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  122. T. Santana

    As a high school teacher and a parent, I would most certainly support penalizing parents for the misbehavior of their children. Parents want all of the credit when their kids do well, so they should be just as quick to accept the responsibility when their children behave poorly. If parents can spend thousands of dollars on clothes, toys, and mobile phones for children who are failing school and getting suspended, surely they can afford to pay fines for those students. Bravo Great Britain!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  123. Niena

    I was raised to believe that teaching begins in the home. The child comes first then everybody else. I believe it is the responsibility of these parents to teach their children how to act even when they are not around. Without discipline at home, children must learn how to act by watching others and adults don't set a very good example for children. Limiting where you take your children and what your children watch on television isn't enough because they are exposed to other children who are not how to act in schools and other public places.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  124. Amanda

    That is a fabulous idea!! These parents need to be more involved in their child's discipline. Our teachers waste their time trying to get children to behave!! School is for education. Its the job of parents to discipline their kids.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  125. Stephanie in Sunrise, FL

    Heck Yes! When I was in primary school (I'm only 20!), there was about ONE bad behaving kid (and he usually has some sort of ADHD). Now, ALL the kids I see are super-charged hyper disruptive brats! The kids sit behind computer and TV screens all day so when they get to school that's is their "play time". Show your kids the outdoors!!! The parents are at complete fault for their bad kids!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  126. Brian

    Parents need to quit treating schools like a daytime parent. My niece got in trouble in school (disruptive behavior) and was threatened with suspension, her mother thought "how is that a punishment, she hates school". I thought it was to punish my sister for not disciplining her child more than to punish the child. This point was lost on her. This is the problem with parents!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  127. Robyn Wincrest

    As a teacher, I applaud Britons for finally doing what Americans should have done a long time ago. The unruly atmosphere that is the classroom restricts learning and penalizes students who want/need the attention of the teachers. The troublemakers who are rewarded by their parents for the bad behavior are ruining the education system for everyone around them.

    Parents are too concerned with being their child's best friend–they have enough of those. What children really need are parents who will instill in them morals, ethics, and civility.

    Unfortunately, our country has been rewarding bad behavior (i.e.: lying, cheating, and general mischief) through the media. We need better role models–we need society to support common sensible morals. The last administration has proven that you don't need to be an ethical person or an honest person to be successful.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  128. Mark in OKC

    It's a GREAT idea, Jack. As a teacher of special needs students for the last 17 years, it has always amazed me how the "experts" told us that corporal punishment was not the answer to discipline, yet it is somehow "okay" to have police officers roaming our hallways today! I have seen officers slam out of control middle school students to the floor and break up fights with pepper spray.......yeah, corporal would be heaven compared to what we have now....out of control kids and cops in the same building trying to squeeze in some teaching.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  129. Pat in Stewartville, MN

    Great idea. It's about time parents take and are held responsible for their children. I use to lead a club of young boys, and the boys would sometimes get out of line. Putting a child in a time out would rarely help, but when I put the parent in a time out with the child, behavior improved dramaticaly.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  130. Paul - Derry, NH

    Absolutely!

    It's about time somebody starts doing something about the kids that have no respect for adults and teachers.

    I think it's a great idea, perhaps parents will now be forced into...well....parenting!

    Parents should be parents first, then friends, not the other way around. This has been lost.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  131. Brandy Ramirez

    Parents and teachers should take responsibility for their actions. But what happens when they do everything they could? At a certain age, kids need to take responsibility for their actions; especially, if the parents and teachers have done right by the child. The problem with our kids today is that they have no backlash for their actions.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  132. Jonn

    I think its a great idea, it will make the parents discipline there kids more and it will give the teachers time to actually teach instead of doing the parents job and disciplining the students all the time.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  133. Michelle

    Absolutely not. It is not up to the schools to lecture parents about how they raise their children. Rebellion is primarily a phase that kids go through and it passes soon enough. The three-strike system seems to be a better idea as it's worked in every school that I myself have attended, including college. And bringing money into this is just plain stupid; parents have more to worry about like paying the mortage and putting food on the table than shelling out $75 each time Johnny questions his teachers or principal. If the parents are really that unfit to raise a productive child, then it's up to the state to decide that, not school systems that vary from region to region.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  134. Ally S.

    Misbehaving at school can often be a symptom of a deteriorated home environment. What better way is there to improve the relationship between troubled children and their parents than antagonizing it through this kind of financial blame game? Obviously parents share blame in the behavior of their children, but this measure would be sure to exacerbate the poor situation in unsupportive or even abusive homes.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  135. Ryan

    If children are acting up then the parents should be penalized as they are the ones that are responsible for raising their children properly.

    -Ryan, Harrisburg, PA

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  136. Lisa - California

    I'm a state university professor. Can we extend that parental fine to the university level? Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm teaching adults or third graders.

    Hmmm, they all had to come from someplace, right? I wonder how much easier my job would be if they were taught to behave before they ever got to me.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  137. Sharon

    As a retired teacher I say, "Go for it"! I once took a parenting class because I thought it would help me raise my daughter, not because I needed it but because I thought it would help me. It did. I highly recommend the class whether you need it or not.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  138. Greg Camp

    Parents will change their parenting when it doesn't work, i.e., it costs them. Greg, Wilmington,NC

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  139. Andrea

    I think schools would be hitting the "mainstream" of parents with trouble-making children by fining. However, I have a 10-year old daughter with extreme ADHD, who is constantly either not paying attention or in trouble. She is on medication, but can't seem to control her actions on others. I would be very livid to be fined for something I can't control, knowing I am already a concerned parent and heavily involved, even being the homeroom mother.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  140. Terry B.

    Teachers are trusted to teach our children not discipline them. The British fail to see the potential abuses that can come with this. Sooner or later there'll be fines for talking, laughing, joking or any other action the teacher feels is "disruptive".

    If a teacher can't take the job, then they have the right to move elsewhere, but children, who have no say as to whether they even want to go to school, HAVE to spend six and a half hours following whatever dictations another human wants them to follow in fear of being fined. One reason I'm glad to be an American.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  141. Marcia

    As a teacher, I give a big thumbs up to that concept. If parents had to pay for their kids' misbehavior, they might be more interested in raising their kids to be respectful and on task. Teachers spend so much time on discipline that they don't get the required material covered.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  142. Mike, Virginia

    While the concept seems sound, it still comes down to personal responsibility. As a teacher, I know that many parents contacted about unruly behavior have sat down with their kids to try and change things, but with no success. Adding a monetary strain to parents already over-stressed in these financial times could lead to abuse or other forms of neglect from parents. Kids need some other positive reinforcement, not the fear of parental reprisal.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  143. Marc

    This is a novel idea! Hit 'em in the pocketbook. I guarantee once this happens, we'll have a lot less acting out, gang violence, etc., and a lot more learning!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  144. Alex Kimmelman

    Once again the British point the way toward advanced civilization. It is a wonderful concept holding parents responsible for the behavior of their children in school. This idea is a win-win situation all around. Schools will find a viable source of revenue to augment dwindling sources from government, teachers will be able to concentrate on teaching instead of diverting attention to children who simply want to disrupt the class, and parents might be compelled to learn a little responsibility of their own. All might learn to respect education a little more.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  145. Lori

    I think if it is an occurring situation then yes it is okay. Some parents are under the impression that their child wouldn't do such things, or that they are just the perfect angels they once were. It is just not the case, maybe if the parent is a little more involved with the entire punishment then they will see that their kids are capable of the same things as every other kid and learn to discipline them a little more.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  146. Tom Schwarz

    As a high school teacher it is my experience that the apple does not fall to far from the tree. The kids imitate what they see and most of the unruly children I've come in contact with have unruly parents. You want the kids to respect authority then you need to teach the parents to respect authority. Bottom line though, what we are doing now doesn't seem to be working so why not try something new?

    April 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  147. Nadia

    Jack,

    As an educator I believe that penalizing parents for their children's misbehavior is a great idea. If a parent gets a fine every time their child misbehaves we will take care of two problems: one, no more budget cuts in education and two, no more misbehaving children in the classroom because they parents will now allow it. It is a win-win situation for educators all around the country.

    Nadia,
    Orlando, Florida

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  148. Terri

    Conor in Chicago needs a dose of reality. Pehaps walking a "mile" in any public school in this nation and the problem would be evident. Parents are RESPONSIBLE and should be held accountable.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  149. Patricia

    Absolutely, yes!! I am a teacher and have been for many years. One major, huge problem with schools is that the parents/guardians/other family members are looking to the school to 'do it all.' To be guidance counselor, doctor, mentor, edcuator, etc., and I embrace most of those but I cannot fill the role of parent. The family needs to be there for the children. Poverty is not an excuse to expect the school to discipline the child exclsuively. Do not expect me to be able to 'raise' the child, if you will, without help and support in the home.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  150. Jamie Savedoff

    I was a school superintendent and principal for over 30 years before I retired last year; my wife taught high school for almost 30 years. Over that period of time we encountered an increasing number of parents who abdicated their responsibility for raising and disciplining their children. When you decide to have children you take on the responsibility of raising them, it is not the teacher or principal's job to raise your children. Schools are established for the primary reason of educating America's youth but are spending the precious little time they have to educate with classroom management and discipline. The idea of penalizing parents to take an interest in their children is an unfortunate reality but if that's what it takes so that our nation's teachers can spend 100% of their time teaching then let's get to it.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  151. Rick - San Diego

    We used to penalize parents all the time for the behavior of their children using public embarrassment as the mechanism.

    Unfortunately now society is so big and crowded it's easy to hide if you are a poor parent raising a disruptive child. "The apple does fall far from the tree".

    Rick
    San Diego

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  152. Corinne - France

    You know Jack,
    I grew up in an Air Force Family and if I screwed up on base...my Dad had to answer for it, and it did happen once. But not a second time. Parents must take responsibility for their children, helping them to grow into responsible citizens. It worked for me! By the way, THANKS TO OUR CITIZENS IN UNIFORM AND THEIR FAMILIES!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  153. Ana in Switzerland

    This is the best idea for education improvement that I've heard of in years! The sooner we start the better. It might seem excessive, fining parents for their kids mess ups, but think of all the money you'll be saving them long term; many parents will be saved the financial burden of supporting their loser children who never graduate from high school, and can't hold down a job.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  154. Everett Beights

    Jack: I would like to ask parents this question -"What do you know that someone DID NOT tell you, either by voice, print or pictures!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  155. John

    Not a bad idea, but where does it end? Next, you will be held responsible for your "adult" child's doings.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  156. Lisa R

    I think it's high time parents were held accountable for their childrens outragous behavior in the classroom as a former teacher the budlites and the remotes needed to be trashed and the codddling has got to stop, or our country is a gonner for sure.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  157. James

    Absolutely not. Parenting is a private matter and should not involve the government. With obvious exceptions, parents should be able to raise their kids on their own agenda. The idea of governments giving classes to adults on how to raise their kids and penalizing them for not doing it to certain standards is ridiculous. It goes against every parents individual free rights.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  158. Dan Fleury

    When I was a kid I remember one of the nuns in my school washing my mouth out with a bar of soap until my teeth bled. You can bet I never disrespected after that.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  159. Chris - Lake Mary, FL

    Jack,

    Maybe we could use the money to pay the teachers' salaries in California. I'm sure the 7000+ teachers being laid off due to budget shortfalls would support just about anything to keep their jobs. Besides, some of the worst offenders could start their careers flipping burgers early when their parents take them out of school to avoid excessive fines. Maybe this isn't such a bad idea after all.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  160. Braden Franklin

    Parents need some form of motivation to take interest in their children's educational well being – including their behavior. Let the parents decide if a child is rewarded or penalized in their own home, but financial penalties would get the parents initial attention.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  161. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    Jack, As long as the parents are claiming their kids on their Income Taxes as "Dependents", You Bet Your Sweet Bippy they should.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  162. Thomas from Texas

    As a high school teacher in a low income district, I can tell you that this is a fantastic idea! At my school we already fine kids that have missed over a certain amount of days as an incentive to attend school. But in regards to behavior we fail on a large scale. Actions that are taken by the teacher are often undermined by the administrators. It's obvious that behavior begins at home, and I'm certain that (in my district) parents would make more of an effort to help us control their child if their short comings as a parent begin to affect them financially.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  163. Sheila

    I don't think that is a good idea Jack. Parents are stressed out and working as many hours as they can leaving their kids to deal with the worries of their parents themselves and too much time without mom or dad at home. Kids don't have coping skills for this kind of thing so they are more likely to act out even if they get negative attention. If you punish the parents in order to punish the kids, the money will often come from the kids support, and the whole family will be stressed more. Parents aren't allowed to take their kids out 'behind the woodshed' anymore, so what are they going to do to them? I think it might be better to have a few 'time out' rooms about the size of a walk in closet, only empty. You put the kid in there and do not give him attention. It will take about 20 minutes and he'll be begging to get out due to boredom. That's all it takes really. Boredom is the greatest punishment for today's kids. Reward good behavior and have an ignore room for bad behavior. It would save everyone a lot of trouble.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  164. Pat Feller

    I think it's an idea whose time has come. When I went to school you didn't speak unless the teacher called on you. There was not a sound when a test was being taken. I think the change occurred in the 60's when protesting against authority was applauded. Teachers began dressing in jeans and adults decided not to grow up. Some people are worried about kids being abused if strict discipline is returned to the classroom. All I can say is the people who invented the telephone, the electric light, radio, tv, etc all went to school when discipline was strictly enforced. How bad could it be?

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  165. michael milligan

    social enginers in their devin wisdom have made it a no winn situation for parents.you see parents are no longer really alowed disipline their children since no matter what they do it can be misconstrude as child abuse.the teachers can't disipline children because they fear law suits or have been brainwashed themseves into beleiving the only entity that this new generation of children will be expected to behave for is the government....from cradle to grave.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  166. Dauane

    I can understand the frustration of the school and it's teacher about trying to teach but the bad apple is in class being what it is. Liberalism has been taken from the parent and put into the hands of the Government. I feel that a parent should be allowed to discipline their kids through whoopings (a whooping not child abouse). I grew up in this manner and believe you me it works. The day the child does not fear the parent of disciplinarian action is the day that parent has lost all control but they want to hold them accountable

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  167. Malcom Keith, Jr. Dayton, OH

    As a 16 year-old student mentor, I agree with the British idea. I get sick of teachers telling me that the parent does not respond when phone calls are made home because of disruptive behavior in class. Not only does this behavior get on the teachers' nerves, but it also stops other children from learning. I also agree that the student cannot return to school until a conference is made with the teacher. the conference finally gives the teacher the chance to meet with the parent. This idea will stop the child from misbehaving in school if the parent has to kick out money that could be used elsewhere.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  168. gregory barnett

    Hello Jack? I stay in Atl, Ga and I do not think that that would be a good idea beacause you dont know who is raising Jason, Freddy ,or asama Binladin and their child just might be crazy and the parent might have done everything possible but the school might not understand that because they just want the money.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  169. Robert Lombard

    Yes, I think parents should be penalized for their children's bad behavior in school to repay the tax dollars that the people contribute in an effort to educate their miscreants. My taxpayer dollars are being misused / abused by their offspring, they should therefore reimburse the school district for wasting our time and money!

    From Bob in Seattle

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  170. Ruth

    As an elementary school teacher in a struggling urban district for 10+ years, I can verify that parents are getting off the hook easy. In my district, students in grades K – 3 may not be suspended. All behavioral issues are left in the hands of classroom teachers. We have very little recourse except for repeated warnings, time-outs, calling parents from our rooms, and trying to counsel students on their behavior...all on instructional time. No wonder, academics are suffering. I am not sure if fining parents is the answer as many are without means, but they definitely need to be held accountable for chronic and disruptive behavior.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  171. Dustin from Maine

    Absolutely not! If kids are disrupting classes, they should be removed from those classes. Parents should NOT be taking the hit for their childrens problems. It it not necissarily the parents fault.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  172. jeff cichanofsky northern wi.

    no because the kids that don't like thier parents will do it for spight.
    i went to a prochial school if i did something bad i payed for it at
    school and when i got home it was worse.
    yes it's the parents responsibility but you can't make them pay.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  173. Tareem Warren

    Yes. I believe that if parents felt a pinch in their pockets for the actions of their kids, it would make them do what they should have been doing. Being a active and responsible PARENT!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  174. James from Yardley

    Absolutely not. Parenting is a private matter and should not involve the government. With obvious exceptions, parents should be able to raise their kids on their own agenda. The idea of governments giving classes to adults on how to raise their kids and penalizing them for not doing it to certain standards is ridiculous. It goes against every parents individual free rights.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  175. Michael Cutright

    Well it may work. But when daddy cant spank johnny or sally or the schools have no real disipline . Whats the point . Just a thought.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  176. Kay - Fairfax, Virginia

    Brilliant! The majority of disruptive kids in school have parents who are not as involved as the parents of well behaved students. This idea could really work to improve the "absent parenting" we see so much of these days. This is getting parents more involved and informed in their childrens' lives–only good can come from it!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  177. Harold

    It's about time! the best way to get parents attention concerning their childs behavior is to take some money out of their pockets!

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  178. Diane in New Jersey

    I have an idea that will probably be more effective than fining parents. How about requiring them to volunteer at school–an hour per infraction sounds about right. They could supervise in the lunch room, take kids on to the playground, sweep the hallways or even do clerical work for the teacher of the offending child. Make the parent connect with the school in a real way and see their support for the school skyrocket.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  179. Circe

    Being a high school teacher myself, I'm all for fining parents of ill behaving students! Many times the informed parents of the delinquent don't do anything to make their kids behave and I am unable to effectively teach the students who want to learn. It seems parents of these misfits use the public school system as a daycare, not an educational system and its not fair to the children who want to learn.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  180. Barbara Parshley

    On parents being fined for their children's behavior: Skip the fine, some could just pay it. Require the parents to attend school next to their child for a period of time. Not only is each parent fined a day's wages per day they are shadowing their child, but the child will be humiliated by mom or dad having to follow them around for the day because they couldn't behave. Both parent and child would likely change their behavior.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  181. Scott

    Jack,
    The people of this wonderful country need to get serious about educating young people. Teachers are being held more accountable for the academic outcomes of students and parents should have the same responsibility when it comes to their child's behavior. Making parents financially accountable for misbehaving students will have a positive impact in schools across the country.

    Richton Park, IL

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  182. Kay, Germany

    Yes, parents should be fined for their kids misbehaving to a certain extend. And these fines have to be distributed to the schools directly. That way it would also help fixing the US education system.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  183. Gerald Hampton

    Damn Right! We all pay taxes to educate our children, why shouldn't the "disrupters" who deny my kids of their shot at education be penalized?

    I am sick and tired of these brats who could care less about attending school and learning and those dead-bead parents who don't have the good sense to teach them at home to behave in school.

    We educated five through high school by teaching school and working two full-time jobs. Ours didn't dare act up in school and very little onthe outside. Thank goodness.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  184. paula

    It's a great idea, but I don't think it will work, because many parents today are extremely immature and can't control themselves. How do I know this? Because I have to manage their parents in the workplace. The only difference between my job and that of a kindergarten teacher is that I can eventually fire the clowns when they screw up one too many times. The kids are only acting out what they see at home or are simply following the example set by their parents. The best idea is to expell them and force mom and dad to miss a few days without pay. If this happens enough, corporate america will see to it, that mom and dad stay home long term ( separation) and perhaps then and only then will we see real change in the classroom.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  185. C. JEAN

    Wonderful idea! Maybe then you could actually teach the children who want to learn. Another idea is to require the parents to come in and sit with little johnny to keep him from hitting the child in the next seat or running around the room.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  186. Kay Ambroise

    Yes, parents should be fined for kids not behaving in school. Not only will it encourage parents to start disciplining unruly children, but if that was something the U.S. started imposing, we might just finally have a solution for schools being underfunded. I mean with SO many kids not taking school seriously, a school could profit alot from these fines and the U.S. school system might have a chance at providing students who do act right the necessary supplies needed for their education.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  187. Gkenn Willeford

    Jack, no. Parents are having a hard enough time keeping food on the table, Additionally, in our country there arises the question of constitutionakity. A "penalty" is not the solution to every problem.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  188. Sanjay

    That's ridiculous–imagine coming home to a parent that is not only disappointed in your behavior but also furious about a fine they have to pay among their endless bills. For a one-time suspension, that's a setup for disaster in parent-child relations. If that's what the school's call motivation to behave, they were far more on track with the plasmas.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  189. David from Boston

    As a high school teacher, I can attest to the fact that maintaining an orderly classroom is not an easy task, especially in underpriviliged communities. Kids know what is acceptable behavior, but they won't follow rules unless they really believe there will be consequences if they don't. But especially in underpriviliged communities, the threat of fines could actually change behavior. The question becomes whether those fines are fair to poor people whose kids are in public schools.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  190. Viji

    Why not? Undisciplined parents are the root cause for undisciplined kids. Why spoil those kids with high-tech mobile (which btw was also a subject in a kid sending her nude pictures to her friends) or some other expensive gadgets? Don't give them more than necessary – and if the parents are unable to do that fine them.

    Viji
    Oklahoma

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  191. Carolanne Wilson

    Teachers also have to be psychologists, nurses, social workers, janitors, seamstress, restaurants for children. At least, let the parents shoulder the responsibility of discipline so the tasks of teaching can be carried out expeditiously. CW

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  192. Brennan

    While there are discipline issues in schools, fining parents is not the answer. Some parents could pay, but many poor families don't even have enough money even for school supplies. If students will not listen they need to be kicked out until they can but they aren't because schools are pressured to keep students for funding for their school. If taking all the fun out of school doesn't work for discipline, kick the students out! their punishment will be a poorly paying job.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  193. Scott from CT

    I think the British may be on to something. In today's world, parents seem to have become a lot more leniant. Not just in the U.S., but all over the world. People need to start cracking down on moral values – that's what it all comes down to anyway.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  194. Erica from New York

    As a nanny, and former teacher's aide, I know that as good as this sounds, it will not work. No matter what fines or penalties are imposed, you cannot make parents care. Too many of today's parents are stressed out and would rather give the kid what it wants rather than do the right thing. Misbehavior penalties would simply become a new part of the family budget.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  195. Richard

    I can remember getting paddled when I misbehaved, they took that right away from the teachers and left no tools for discipline. They should either allow corporal punishment, or hold the parents responsible. There has to be some discipline or the schools will end up being a social club... oops too late.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  196. Manjiree Nikam

    I absolutely agree. Good behavior and learning to be a good citizen starts at home. I have volunteered extensively at public schools when my children were growing up, and I could tell a lot of stuff about the parents just from the kids' behavior. I feel bad for the public school teachersfor not getting the respect they deserve, because the parents are not doing their job at home. It is not easy to raise a well behaved, well mannered child who respects other human being of any age. Too many parents just give up and let the kid misbehave becauae that'sthe easy thing to do. I and my husband love our children to death, but we worked very hard in guiding them to be good citizens, and now not a day goes by without us hearing about how great the kids are. Wake up America, it is hard work to raise your next generation, and parents, your future is in your hands today, mold your children well, and be a good role model to them every single day.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  197. Tina

    If you are going to penalize the parents, make sure the punishment fits the crime. Making parents pay legal fines just makes the problem much worse, if you really want to fix the problem make the parents go to school!! Their lack of motivation for education is being passed on to their children due to ignorance, most of these children already come from impoverished homes, so lets just keep everything in perspective.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  198. Sal, North Carolina

    I believe that parents can control and influence their children to a certain extent. However, the children do eventually grow up to have a mind of their own where they are going to do what they want to do. So in regards to fining parents for their kids misbehaving at school may work to a certain age. Once they reach high school, its a whole new ballpark.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  199. Brigitte Rose

    Jack–speaking from personal experience as a now retired high school teacher, making parents pay a fine for students' misbehavior is an idea that works. Case in point: students who were habitually absent from class had to appear in court with their parents who then had to pay a fine. The problem was solved. The teens were in class from then on.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  200. Dee M.

    Yes! Parents should DEFINITELY be held responsible for what their underage children do. I'm old enough to have raised three children from the Seventies through the Nineties, and I raised them with the internal knowledge and personal philosophy that I and my husband WERE responsible for everything they did! And we didn't even need to be threatened by the government to know that. It's just the way it is! Children need to be taught how to behave, and if parents don't do it, then they need to be punished, like children. That's probably the only way some parents will do what they should be doing in the first place!
    Dee from Illinois

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  201. William

    Dear Mr. Cafferty:

    I am a substitute teacher hoping to eventually become a full time teacher. I am in my mid-thirties, but already I find myself constantly saying "kids these days." It seems like there is no punishment that really frightens the young people in today's classrooms. With no real ability to punish, it is extremely difficult to keep the seriously misbehaved kids from absolutely ruining the learning environment for everyone else.

    I fully believe that most of the fault lies with the parents of these young adults, and that it is, in fact, extremely unfair that these kids should grow up expected to function in society without the benefit of knowing how to behave in public. If the parents got more involved, I suspect that things would improve not only in the classroom, but at home for these kids as well. I think that this is an outstanding idea, and truly hope that it works.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  202. Kristin

    Finally! I'm studying to be a teacher and I am horrified by how students today act in school. Placing more responsibility on parents in regard for student behavior sounds wonderful. I am sick and tired of hearing how teachers are blamed by the parents for the wrongdoing of the students. Hopefully, this will put more accountability on the student for what they have done.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  203. John - Greenville, NC

    Of course it's a good idea Jack! I just can't believe that it's taken this long for it to happen. It gives me hope that somewhere in the world, people have the sense to do something about bad parents. I just wonder how long it will take us here in the US to adopt this common sense policy. The only people who would oppose it are the negligent parents who know they’d have to pay.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  204. Martha

    Yes, the parents should be fined for their child's misbehavior IF the child is out of hand because until 18 they are responsible for them BUT parents should have more freedom to teach their own children about right and wrong instead of the education system tying their hands and duck taping their mouths while the teachers do as they please.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  205. Ross in Salt Lake

    My own childhood demonstrates the ineffectiveness and unfair nature of this solution. My parents were constantly at wits end with me. From grounding, fining me, extra chores to the belt, none of it kept me out of trouble. There are cases where this may be effective, but only in cases where the parents aren't already involved in their children's lives to the extent they should be. But making that determination is a scary, slippery slope.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  206. Brittany

    It's easy to simply blame the parents, but I think too many environmental and psychological factors go into how a child chooses to behave. However, I think fining parents will cause some to take a good hard look at their own children and actually take the time to figure out what's going wrong.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  207. danny

    Yes parents should take responsability 4 their kids, the whole thing starts at home..
    This is a start, we need to start somewhere...

    April 15, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  208. Suzanne Weber

    Are you kidding me? I am a public school teacher with a Masters, a lawyer with a doctorate, a college professor and my husband also has a higher education. We have spent 150,000 in the last two years on rehab and counseling for our son who is now 17. I know about adolescent psych. and deal with children and their development everyday. I am educated enough to know what resources are there or not there to help my son and now you want to fine me on top of this? Absolutely not. There are exceptions to your stereotyping.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  209. Austin Rose

    Absolutely, teachers are having to spend so much time on dicipline with the few bad kids that the good students are being held hostage. Our education system is in peril becuase we are asking too much of the teachers and not enough of the parents. I say lets try this system.

    April 15, 2009 at 6:19 pm |