Very Public Punishment

Dad Makes Teen Carry Sign at Busy Bakersfield Intersection.
        A father in southwest Bakersfield is literally holding his daughter accountable for her bad behavior. But, does the punishment fit the crime?
        "If you're a liar and a thief and you disrespect your parents, let's be honest about it and tell everybody," the thirteen yer old's father said. And that's exactly what this Bakersfield father is making his 13-year old daughter do.
        The sign reads "Attention. I am a habitual liar and I steal and I disrespect my parents."
        We are not identifying the teen in order to protect her identity and to save her further embarrassment, but her father says she steals money, took a neighbor's video game console and went from all A's on her report card to F's.
        "I've put her on punishment, taken her clothes, stripped her down to one pair of clothes and made her eat certain things for one week straight and nothing works," said her father.
        The teen stood on the corner of Stockdale Highway and Stine Road holding the self-effacing sign for four hours. Many drivers couldn't help but stop and look.
        "I think it's a good idea," said one driver. "You know I have kids of my own and if they would have done the same thing, I probably would have them right out there." 
        Another passerby said, "At least he's not beating her or starving her. Maybe this is a good way."
        Clinical psychologist Dr. Corey Gonzales doesn't agree. "You're making a personal thing very public, nuumber one. It could do some damage to the child; their development, their self esteem. Particularlly at that age." 
        The father says his daughter is a good person going through a tough stage in her life, but he's at his wit's end.
        "It's partially to embarrass her because we are embarrassed every time we have to replace something. So you know, share the joy. You know, embarrass everybody."

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