Lesson Learned

So there is this story of how a woman in Jonesboro Arkansas made her son walk 4.6 miles  to school in 30 degree weather.  When he was spotted walking alone, police arrived, drove the boy to school, then cited the mother. Jonesboro police spokesman Sgt. Lyle Waterworth was quoted speculating that the child could’ve faced possible injury or abduction.  Now some may say that  the boy might have been in danger walking to school, but really if a child goes out to play or walks to a friends house or  goes outside ever… what is the difference? One report mentioned it was 30 degrees outside. She’s facing a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Now I may come off harsh here but that city is crazy.  Not only was I born in Little Rock, Arkansas… but my brother went to college in Jonesboro himself and we spent a lot of time there.  I don’t want to bash the city or the state but if the kid was bad enough to get kicked off of the bus, then there is nothing wrong with him walking his bad ass to school.  And growing up in St. Louis… 30 Degrees is nothing at all.  Hell if I had a dime for how many times my mother had to walk 8 miles to school I would be rich,  And she turned out just fine.  I even had to walk to school myself… and if 30 degrees was too cold, then why not cancel school.

What messages does this incident send to kids and parents? Hmm. So by arresting the mom what does that tell the youth… Sure act up and be a fool in school and when you are punished your mother may just go to jail, no big deal at all.

This says that hey if you are 10 years old you are not physically fit enough to walk to school because you have been sitting eating junk food and playing video games all day. Lets be honest 4.6 miles is nothing… problem is there are a lot adults that can’t even walk 4.6 miles, much less 1 mile.

It tells children that 30-degree weather is far too harsh for their delicate systems to tolerate. Granted these temperatures are probably unusual for Arkansas. Sure she could have thought of some other punishment for the child to have but this not harsh by any means… I believe it was drastic enough for the child to know that -yes if I mess up again, I will be walking again.

Some parents might find this punishment extreme, but she felt this would work with her kid. The child should feel it’s extreme or it won’t motivate him to shape up. It would probably take him more than an hour to walk that distance, and presumably do it again to return home after school. That’s inconvenient enough to likely improve his bus behavior.

How would you handle this situation?

2 Comments

  • Marc McGowan Posted March 29, 2012 6:26 pm

    Right on!
    If our kids are having a tough time in an enclosed space (on the bus)with a bunch of other kids who may be having a hard time I think letting them get out and “walk it off” is just fine. 30 degrees… not sure about that – seems cold to me but I have also gone running in 25 degree weather and found it exhilirating. I used to walkabout 5 miles per day round trip to school as a kid so I say let our kids get that 1 hour of minimum daily activity and consider the mother as a caring enough parent to love her son enough to punish him in hopes of getting him to change his behavior for the better.
    I want to know when do we start locking up the parents who let their kids eat junk and endanger their health. Now that is a court hearing I would attend. As for this mother and her son I say leave them be and let this family sort out their own issues. Then we can all get back to the real issues of health, fiteness, diet and well being for ourselves and all our kids!

  • Ann Fonfa Posted May 31, 2012 1:49 pm

    I tend to agree, I think the reaction is so strong BECAUSE most Americans would rather drive up to the door, drop off their ‘loved’ ones and risk heart disease. We see a lot of that in South Florida, old ‘gents’ dropping off their women, putting the women at even higher risk of heart disease. People in general don’t think in those terms and mostly we ignore the fact that heart disease is the #1 killer of women – more than lung cancer or other killers.

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