I do not believe that the imposition of a fine poses an “undue” burden on a parent or parents no matter what their circumstances. It may be that the payment of a fine will finally awaken some parents to acceptance of the fact that their child or children are creating problems outside of the home. This may then give them the incentive which they need to get their children under control. If there is a parent who believes they cannot pay the fine then I suggest that they pay the fine and then turn around and collect payment from the offending child. There are a lot of paper routes that need a delivery person. Maybe if the child has to reimburse the parent then it will serve to bring home to that child the reality of the situation.
To continue on with the status quo is only to make other people, who do have control of their children, unwilling victims of parents who either don’t care what their children do or who refuse to make their children obey. It is legitimate to impose fines because there is real cost that is associated with law enforcement and those who require the attention of the RCMP should pay for the service. Parents cannot be allowed to beg off their responsibility to supervise their children. Even if a parent is not at home the child should learn to obey the rules in the parent’s absence. This is just basic parenting rules. As a teacher though I have often found that unruly children usually have parents who have failed to give them any rules or discipline. The truth is that most children who are disobedient as teenagers were already disobedient when they were much younger and trainable.
It is disingenuous to on the one hand to say that the imposition of fines would be unfair to those families who are trying, are single parents, or who have financial troubles while yet at the same time adamantly telling people to butt out of your business when it comes to advising you on the proper raising of your child.
Parents have an absolute responsibility to supervise their children and not a relative one where other issues can diminish this responsibility. The police should be out fighting crime, which is what we pay taxes for, and not working as escorts for children, which is what parents are for.
Julian Ross Hudson