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12-Year-Old's Public Punishment for Theft: Tough Love or Child Abuse?

When Joseph Gonzalez found out that his 12-year-old son Jose stole $100 from a family member's wallet, the father decided to punish him in this unusual way:

Jose's punishment is spending many hours of his spring break standing on the corner of 22nd and Larimer streets in downtown Denver with a bright yellow sign announcing: "I am a thief. I took money from a family member." [...]

Jose put in five hours of curbside confession Tuesday, standing across from his father's pawnshop, where Gonzalez could keep an eye on him — and take him pizza slices.

He figures Jose, with drinks and bathroom breaks, should be able to put in 10 hours Thursday.

This was Jose's first theft - and his father hopes, with this punishment, there won't be a second. But what about the kid's reputation? The father wasn't concerned:

"Nah, he's only 12 years old," he said. "Everybody makes mistakes at that time in their life. It's about being corrected."

Denver Post's Electa Draper has the story: Link (Photo: Joe Amon/The Denver Post)

What do you think Neatoramanauts? Tough love or child abuse?


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