Looking for answers without blame

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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At what age should parents not be liable for their children’s actions and mistakes? 

Some people spew off ages like eight, 12, or 16. For most parents though they would like to think that the worst their small child would do is helplessly snatch a candy bar from the grocery store, but for parents in Wisconsin their children could be facing up to 64 years in jail.

What seemed to be an innocent sleep over with three 12- year-old girls quickly turned into two of them allegedly attacking the third.

The attack is said to have happened when the two 12-year-old girls lured the third into an innocent game of hide and seek and then stabbed their classmate 19 times. According to news reports, the two girls had been planning the attack since February and the basis of the event was so the two could be accepted by an Internet character named Slenderman.

This event has caused many to question why the girls did this and if the sole purpose was to be apart of Slenderman, or if the root of this event pushes deeper.

Thankfully the victim of this attack was helped by a passing cyclist and is currently in stable condition at a hospital. Since then a social media account belonging to one of the girl’s father has been leaked.

Pictures that he posts are of a wide variety. There is one from a month ago of a picture that his daughter drew of Slenderman on a napkin during supper with her family.

Some of his posts are of nice family outings, while others picture a rather dark side.

Some are now saying it is his fault his daughter had such an obsession with Slenderman and allowed it to progress.

So back to the question — what age should children be when parents are no longer considered liable for their actions?

For the parents of the 12-year-olds who are facing adult sentencing, it can be easy for some to blame them for what their daughters have done because of their age, but these actions do not reflect the thinking or planning of a child.

In no way is an event like this an opportunity to point fingers at the upbringing of children but it is a great way to see how people learn from others around them. These girls in particular learned about this character online and then continued to learn about him from others on similar sites.

Parents can help establish knowing from right and wrong and what kind of people to trust, but in the end it all comes down to you, who you trust and listen to.

We can blame parents, teachers, and friends, but usually it boils down to the fact that we ourselves in most situations need to be aware of what we are feeding our minds.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Geographic location: Wisconsin

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