Are Parents to Blame When Children Break the Law?

CNN contributor L.Z. Granderson writes a stinging piece about parental neglect and escalating youth gun violence in the wake of several heinous crimes around the nation.

Posted:
 
christopherlaneshooters082313575jd
Suspects in Christopher Lane's death: Michael Jones, Chancey Luna and James Edwards Jr. (Oklahoma Sheriff's Department)

It's time for parents to be held accountable when their children run amok, CNN's L.Z. Granderson writes in a stinging piece that addresses several heinous crimes around the nation involving youth gun violence. "We don't teach accountability, we don't expect accountability and I'm not even sure we even know what accountability looks like anymore," he writes.

I'm sure the three teenagers suspected in the death of 23-year-old Christopher Lane -- killed because they allegedly were bored -- started off as angels. But who, besides their parents, would call them angels now?

As a newspaper reporter, I covered and was around a fair number of crime scenes involving juvenile delinquents and few things bothered me more than listening to their parents. Crying, ranting, proclaiming how great their children were despite being kicked out of school or previous run-ins with the law.

That's not to say kids won't be kids. Of course they will be.

Which is why it is vitally important that parents be parents.

So when kids get bored, they don't think they should go "f**k with some n**gers," as then-18-year-old Deryl Dedmon Jr. suggested before he and his buddies ran over and killed 49-year-old auto worker James Craig Anderson, the first black person he saw, with his pickup truck back in 2011. Or randomly shoot a college student jogging down the street as entertainment -- though it seems the shooting may not have been as random as previously thought considering one of the suspects, who is black, tweeted that he hated white people back in April.

Read L.Z. Granderson's entire piece at CNN.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.