Police were called on two Florida parents who forced their daughter to stand at a busy intersection as punishment holding a sign that stated what she had done wrong.
- (Photo: Reuters / Eric Thayer)
Motorists passing a busy intersection in Crestview, Fla. were surprise to see a 13-year-old girl standing at the corner. In her hands she held a sign that read: "I'm a Self-entitled teenager w/no Respect for authority. I'm also super smart, yet I have 3 'D's' because I DON'T CARE."
The idea for the punishment came from Gentry and Renee Nickell. They said the punishment was a last resort effort after other methods of communicating with their daughter had been ineffective. But soon the photo went viral on Facebook and the Nickells received some very unexpected criticism. One motorist even called the police, reporting that the parent's punishment was too extreme.
"We got to the point where we just didn't know what else to do," Renee Nickell said, explaining that her daughter's grades had previously been much better. "We just felt like she just kind of gave up."
The family had suffered a tragedy in December of 2011 when Renee's brother passed. The two families were close and the Nickells felt their daughter had changed since the event.
Instead of grounding their daughter again and keeping her from church activities that "enforced the values" they want their daughter to have, Renee took the advice that she had received from a Christian counselor years ago, she told Northwest Florida Daily News.
"I wasn't even thinking about what the public was going to think," her mom said. "I was thinking about our daughter. It was for her to be in the public and recognize what she had done wrong."
The plan was for their daughter to hold the sign in public for at least 90 mintues.
"I told her, 'It depends on how well you take it. If you take it like a champ, we'll wrap it up and be done with it,'" the girl's father told the paper.
The police eventually arrived but left after confirming the girl was "aware of her punishment and she was not in any harm," the NFW reported. Despite criticism, the girl's father has stood by his the punishment. They do not think that others should judge.
The girl is not alone, however. Other parents have also taken to public shaming in order to teach their kids a lesson.
"Walk a mile in someone's shoes," the parents said in a statement. "We are a family that has been (through) recent trauma and it took a desperate attempt to show our daughter we are not letting her go, just like our Lord did for us."