Parents will pay up for bad behavior

By Charles Sercombe

Heads up parents, you better keep a close watch on your kids or be prepared to pay up.

Hamtramck has adopted a “parental responsibility” law that many other cities have also enacted. Simply put, the law allows the Police Department to issue misdemeanor tickets to parents if their child commits a crime.

That means if your kid is arrested, you will also face a charge.

The law was introduced by City Councilmember Cathie Gordon. It’s taken about three months for the council to finally act on the proposal. Gordon said she introduced it because of the rash of students fighting after school.

“Being a grandmother and looking at these kids, there’s got to be something better for them to do than fighting,” Gordon said. “We need to send a message that this is unacceptable behavior.”

Parents can face a maximum penalty of $500 and/or 90 days in jail. However, the court also has the discretion to sentence parents to community service or counseling.

City Manager Bill Cooper said the law is a “wake up call” for parents who refuse to do their job.

“Too many kids are raising themselves,” he said. “It’s time to get the parents’ attention and get them involved.”

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