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Punishing Kids Publicly Is Just Creepy!

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Ronda Kaysen:When I read about the dad who put a picture of his daughter in the local newspaper and offered her babysitting services for free because she broke her curfew, it made me sick.

A recap: Texas dad Robert Rausch woke to find his 16-year-old daughter, Kirstin, up at 2:30 AM -- with a bunch of friends over.(The house rule: No friends over after 11 PM.)Keep in mind that Kirstin was home when she broke her curfew. No alcohol was involved. And she's an honor student.

"My friend was over one night, and we said, 'What should we do?' And we said we should invite people over after 11 -- not my smartest idea," Kirstin told "The Early Show."


Kirstin's father told CBS's Harry Smith that he was so angry, his first thought was, "I'm going to kill her." Instead, the enraged dad decided to turn his daughter's transgression into what he calls a "teachable moment."

I beg to differ. I think posting an ad selling your daughter's babysitting services in the local paper -- followed by a national publicity blitz to prove your point -- is more along the lines of public shaming.

The ad that Robert ran included a large picture of his teenage daughter. Below it, the text read:"I'm in big trouble for missing my curfew and my parents are making me provide 30 hours of free babysitting as punishment. My pain is your gain, so call."

So far, Kirstin's fulfilled about half of her penance -- babysitting in the homes of perfect strangers, no less.

I find this whole episode totally creepy. Kirstin seems sheepish and embarrassed to be paraded on television with her dad. Meanwhile, her father seems oblivious to the reality of what he's done -- which is to splash his child's name, face and home number all over television, newspapers and the Internet ... as "punishment."

One day, when Kirstin looks for a job, applies to college or goes on a date, someone who doing a simple Google search will find this totally humiliating experience all over the Web. And she'll have to live with it.

Talk about the punishment not fitting the crime.


next: Betrayal, Disconnection and Deception: Tiger's Tale
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