As opposed to sympathy for perps? These kids launched fireworks inside a packed bus. At some point you gotta make an example out of someone to scare off others inclined to similar acts. And the parents need to get charged.
There is an in-between space.
One where you can support:
a) Charging/Arresting/Holding Accountable those who commit a criminal act
b) Support maintaining public order, and upholding the law
c) You can understand that the offender will be released back into society at some point, no matter how serious the offense (baring a 'dangerous offender' designation) and that it behooves
us to make sure that offender is more grateful to a system that helped put them on the right path and finds themselves capable of finishing school and getting a job; vs just having a giant chip on their
shoulder and being incapable of self-support.
d) Be aware that culpability has limits, and this is exceptionally important in the case of a child if you are also saying that they are a young adult, capable of being held responsible for their own actions, and the contradiction of then also
holding their parents, or teachers or bosses also responsible. Which is it? If the teen's parents are responsible shouldn't the child be not criminally responsible?
To be clear, I am absolutely concerned that there maybe a problem w/parenting in the case of a criminally misbehaving child; but unless the parent provided the child a fire work/weapon, instructed them to get it and how, provided the money etc. I don't see a basis for criminal charges. In the above case, one might face some type of charge akin to 'conspiracy' , ' aid and abet' ; or 'Criminal Facilitation'.
The problem, at law with holding a parent responsible where the above is not the case is not merely one of trying to assign legal responsibility for one act to two or more different people where the second person was not involved;
Its that in general, a criminal offense requires mens rea, and acteus reus. The Guilty Mind' and 'The Guilty Action'.
So you need to establish the the parent either did something criminal/facilitated same, but also that they did so knowing what the effect would be. (A reasonable person test may apply in terms of what one would expect someone to know)
I'm not a bleeding heart when it comes to dealing with those who behave violently; but I am stickler for the idea that legal principles matter, consistency matters, and so does pragmatism. The latter meaning that the principle goal of the criminal justice system is not suppose to be punishment, but rather prevention of recurrence.
That may necessarily involve some measure of punishment, but its the end goal that is paramount.
As apart from any actual criminal action by a parent; i think 'problematic parenting' or their potential of same ought, in such circumstances to be considered by a social worker home visit and parental interview, along with interviewing the child, as legal circumstances permit.
If the issue, for instance were a single parent, working 2 jobs, incapable of literally supervising their teen, the consideration might be how we could help that parent obtain better paying employment, or providing an afterschool program or some other form of supervision of their child for extended hours.
If the issue were that the parent had good intentions, but didn't have good instincts or knowledge on how to handle discipline issues, perhaps there's a course, or resources that could be provided them.
If the parent is clearly the problem (criminal element, serious addiction issues, abusive); they should be held accountable for their own conduct in that regard, and in the most extreme situations we may need to find the child a different home.
Though as that rarely goes well, we should do that as a last resort.
A final thought though.........Former PM Chretien, who most considered a decent, law-abiding sort on the whole..........had one child who was arrested while he was PM (the child by then was an adult). Should we have 'charged' the sitting PM because his child was a criminal?
The adopted son of the Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, has been charged with sexually assaulting an 18-year-old girl in an apartment in the Arctic city of Yellowknife.
Read the story and squirm a bit. There's moral ambiguity there. We don't know how that child ended up that way; but presumably charging Jean Chretien would not have been a legally viable or just answer in respect of his son's conduct.