Question

Dubuque, Iowa’s City Council and mayor in 2011 enacted a parental responsibility ordinance providing that: “A failure by a parent to exercise reasonable control over the parent’s minor which causes the minor to commit an unlawful act is a violation.” The ordinance is directed to derelict parents whose negligence or indifference facilitates criminal behavior by children and leads to big investments of police time in simply locating parents. A violation initially results in a warning with increasing fines (or parenting classes) for violations thereafter. The city’s plan is to provide resources to aid parents who are in violation of the ordinance. The city has indicated that “reasonable control” means doing what the average person would do.
a. What objections would you raise to this ordinance?
b. Do you think a parent would violate the reasonable control standard if his or her child failed to come home from the movies by the hour agreed on, but the parent then made an effort to find the child? Explain.
c. Is the ordinance a good idea in your judgment? Explain.


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  • CreatedOctober 02, 2015
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