A Massachusetts appeals court has upheld the decision to punish a twelve-year-old boy, for vandalizing a neighbor’s, by requiring him to get a job, reports the Huffington Post. This most unusual punishment was originally handed down when the unnamed boy was only eleven after he damaged his neighbor’s home by spray painting it. When “a year went by without the boy paying any part of the $1,000 he owed, a judge decided to teach the boy a lesson by ordering him to go to work”.
No doubt, many are applauding this stringent and creative sentence, feeling the boy deserves no less for his actions and subsequent failure to pay what he owed. However, the decision begs the question, with so many adults out of work how is a twelve-year-old supposed to get a job?
The lead author in the court’s decision argued that the pre-teen could “easily earn money by picking up a paper route, shoveling snow or babysitting, among other things”. Although, the boy’s attorney, Craig Bartolomei, pointed out that children don’t deliver papers anymore, District Attorney David E. Sullivan defended the ruling saying that it would “teach the boy responsibility”.
According to ABC 40, Bartolomei “says he’ll now file an appeal with the state Supreme Judicial Court to try and have the ruling reversed”.
This decision might just start a trend. Despite criticism from those who say such punishment is unreasonable for a child, it might someday become commonplace to see kids this age sentenced to join the work force in order to pay for damages caused by such pranks. Maybe parents will get a few ideas from this, as well.