Shameful

A teenager accused in the shooting death of an innocent baby in Georgia was in court today. Nancy Grace is wetting her pants over this story. She is going to pull her hair back with a bedazzled bobby pin and analyze the entire case. By now you’ve probably heard what happened. A woman, pushing a stroller, was allegedly approached by two teenagers demanding money. When she refused they shot her and threatened to kill her baby. She didn’t have anything to give them. So, she says, one of the boys shot the 13-month-old in the face. If I were still a TV news reporter I would just give you the facts. However, after a decade, I retired from the business last year. So, I can tell you I think if these boys are guilty they deserve to rot in hell. They didn’t steal a candy bar from the corner store. They robbed this woman of a lifetime of memories. My heart breaks for this woman.

The mother of one of the suspects said, “My son didn’t do anything wrong. He was just a witness.” Really? I want to slap her. Your son, ma’am, was an accessory to a crime. He didn’t know they were going to rob that woman? He didn’t know his buddy had a gun? He pulled the trigger even if his finger wasn’t on the gun.

The problem with society is that, far too often, parents don’t hold their children accountable for their actions. I hate to get all Bill O’Reilly on you, but it’s true. I have interviewed hundreds of mothers and fathers after their children were sent to prison. It is rare that they apologize for the horrendous crime his or her child committed. I know you want to believe your child wouldn’t be capable of breaking the law. “He was a good boy.” Okay, maybe he was a good boy in kindergarten. Perhaps, he shared his red crayon when a friend couldn’t find one. Now, your kid is a thug. I am not saying it is always a parent’s fault. Sometimes you can think you are doing everything right and your child grows up to be Dylan Klebold.

I like to think I am a good mother. Sure, I may lie to my kids from time to time to avoid a tantrum. We eat at fat food restaurants weekly. However, my children know the difference between right and wrong. They know there will be consequences if they break the rules. It doesn’t mean they are perfect. Several years ago my oldest joined in when a few kids broke school rules on a bus. (Can someone please tell me what the hell that smell is on school buses? Ever heard of Febreeze?) Anyway, the boys took turns writing curse words on a notebook. Perhaps, they were working on a new series for HBO? My son, who was knocked out of the spelling bee in the first round, spelled every word correctly which made it even more humiliating. I remember thinking, after the principal called, I am going to beat his ass. I didn’t lay a hand on him, but he started crying the minute we walked into the office. He was ashamed. He also knew he was in deep shit. He has been a model student ever since. I never blamed another kid. We took responsibility and apologized. I think it is the least the relatives in Georgia can do for that grieving mother.

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