OP ED: Should Parents Be Held Accountable for Their Children’s Actions?

Lucette Ow, Freshman

The Oxford school shooting left people in mourning and states of great shock and all together, incredible grief. Ethan Crumbly, the perpetrator of this crime, has been arrested and tried as an adult. Along with him being arrested, his parents have been convicted as well. In this specific situation, Ethan’s parents were deeply in the wrong and deserved their punishment as the recent evidence in text messages has been shown. However, in general, parents should not be punished for the actions of their children because they don’t always know exactly what their children are planning. For instance, in the Columbine High School massacre of 1999, 12 students were murdered by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, before they turned the guns on themselves. Sue Klebold, Dylan Klebold’s mother, was not at all responsible for her son’s actions because she herself had no idea what Dylan and Eric were planning. She explained that if Dylan had even shown any warning signs, she had completely missed them, because they were not obvious. He could have easily been hiding his plans from her. She also recounted the day she found out about the horrific events. She explained that her husband had sounded completely breathless, obviously nervous and possibly terrified, before telling her that something horrific had happened at the high school. She still has trouble using the right words to describe the events that took place in 1999 because it still comes as a shock to her that her own son was capable of brutally murdering that many people. It is obvious by her tone and honest words that she had absolutely no idea about her son’s plans and ideas. Other instances like these can be shown in other tragic massacres such as the Santa Fe High School Shooting and others. It is obvious that kids are able to hide stuff very easily, especially those who are most-likely psychopaths. Parents can’t always tell exactly what is going on inside their children’s minds because of this. Therefore, it is not their fault unless they truly know about it.