Criminal parental responsibility: Blaming parents on the basis of their duty to control versus their duty to morally educate their children

Educational Philosophy and Theory 40 (6):789-802 (2008)
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Several states in the United States of America and countries in Europe punish parents when their minor child commits a crime. When parents are being punished for the crimes committed by their children, it should be presumed that parents might be held responsible for the deeds of their children. This article addresses the question whether or not this presumption can be sustained. We argue that parents can be blamed for the crimes of their children, not because they have the duty to control their children as is often maintained, but because they have the duty to assist their child to develop in such a way that s/he becomes a morally competent agent.



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