To the Nebraska parents who made their sons stand downtown holding up signs that read, “I was caught
shoplifting at Dollar General. I will never shoplift again. Stealing
and lying is Wrong,” I salute you.
To paraphrase Randy “Dopey Idol” Jackson, “You did your thing Mom and Dad, you did your thing.”
Kip and Cole Russell, twelve and fifteen respectively, were caught stealing an ax from the Dollar General in Gering, Neb. last month and sent out by their parents to the busiest intersection in town to hold bright orange signs. Cole did the heist, while Kip kept watch outside, but the boys agreed they were both at fault – and both deserved punishment.
“I was with him, and I didn’t try to stop him,” Kip told the Omaha World-Herald as the boys’ father, Merle Russell, watched from nearby, keeping track of the boys time spent on the busy street.
“I won’t tolerate a thief, and hopefully this will teach them that they
need to make the right choices,” Merle told the paper. “When you steal, it
takes money away from everybody.”
The boys have been told to write letters of apology to the store, and their electronics (I’m not sure if that means game consoles, cell phones or what . . . the story just says “electronics) have been seized for a month. Cole was also expected to face court action on the shoplifting charge.
Considering how many parents are quick to jump to their kids’ defense these days, it’s nice to see a parent who puts the emphasis on responsibility instead of hiring a lawyer to get his kids out of trouble for something they did. Was the punishment harsh? Absolutely. But the punishments facing the boys if they were to continue on this path are much harsher – and rightfully so.
Something tells me Kip and Cole won’t be shoplifting again any time soon.
Image: Omaha World-Herald