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Should This Dad Be on Probation for Making His Kid Walk Home from School Alone?

A Hawaii man has been ordered to pay a $200 fine and spend a year on probation, all for telling his kid to walk home from school in order to think about what he had done.

Robert Demond of Kilauea picked up his 8-year-old son when he learned his child had been in trouble in school and had been placed in time out. So, when he asked his son why he was calling names in the first place, his child refused to explain way.

“He answered, ‘I don’t know,’ and I go, ‘You need to take responsibility for your actions. Why were you in time out?’ He kept saying ‘I don’t know,” Demond explained of the frustrating moments between dad and son before he decided to stop the car.

Then, when the child still refused to talk, Demond told the little boy to take a hike.

“(I told him) basically think about what you did in A-plus to put you in time out,” the dad said and then drove away, leaving the kid behind about a mile from his home.

A few minutes later, Demond returned to pick up the boy, thinking that his child would have learned a lesson. Instead,  his kid was no where in sight.

A bystander, seeing the child get kicked out of the car, had taken the boy back to the school and called the police.

Demond said when he returned to the school to pick-up his son he wasn’t even allowed to see him and was arrested on the spot for child endangerment.

This week, Judge Kathleen Watanabe sentenced the dad to one year of probation and a $200 fine, and instructed the dad that a punishment such as walking home from school might be ‘old-school’ but was no longer appropriate in today’s times of busy streets and child predators.

Demond, though, said he was just trying to get through to his son any way he could.

“All I was trying to do is have my son think about his actions and there was no intention at all that I wanted to harm my son,” the dad insisted. “I just wanted him to walk home and think about what he did by the time he got home.”

Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks (Illustrative)

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.