It used to be that parents had complete control over how they raised their children. A father could discipline his child with a firm hand across the backside and it was all part of raising a healthy, well-adjusted child.
Then, society’s coddlers and proponents of weakness got involved. Soon, a spanking was “child abuse.” Parents who feared law enforcement taking them into custody had to get creative with their punishments.
Now, it seems that taking a cell phone away from an unruly child can land you in jail…
In 2013, Ronald Jackson encountered a rude text message on his 12-year-old daughter’s phone and as punishment, took it away. She protested and so did the child’s mother, Michelle Steppe, who then called the police. Steppe and Jackson have not been a couple for years.
Police showed up at Jackson’s door and demanded he return the phone as Steppe claimed that she had paid for it. Jackson refused. “At that point I decided the police don’t interfere with my ability to parent my daughter,” he later explained.
Three months later, he received a citation for theft of property, but the prosecutor offered a plea deal: return the phone. Instead, the outraged father requested a jury trial.
Unbeknownst to him, a warrant for Jackson’s arrest was issued and the police came knocking at 2 a.m. in April of 2015 and hauled him off to jail.
“It made no sense to me for them to show up and make a big deal out of something that was a small thing,” Jackson said. “I couldn’t believe they would go to this extent for a cellphone. It didn’t seem right.”
After posting bail and spending a night in jail, Jackson moved onward with a jury trial at which his own daughter testified. Dallas County Criminal Court Judge Lisa Green ordered a verdict of not guilty, citing insufficient evidence.
Steppe was outraged. “Even if you purchase something with your own money and have a receipt, it’s not yours,” she said. “Someone can take it from you.”
The saddest part of this tale is that this father no longer has a relationship with his daughter or her mother- all because of a phone, a snotty teenage attitude and a petty ex. “I can’t ever have a relationship with them again,” Jackson said.
Thankfully, Jackson emerged triumphant, but this tribulation highlights the absurdity of modern society. If we cannot allow parents to discipline their children, we encourage the continuation of societal decline.
Parents need not abuse their children, but it’s clear that our society would benefit from a return to more traditional means of parenting and punishment.