Originally posted by LadySkadi
That mugshot in the article, is that supposed to be the grandfather?
He looks - young...
I'm a grandfather, and I'm a stunningly youthful, devastatingly handsome man.
Anyway, on topic, I can see how this can be misconstrued by the public at large. In recent years, when it seems like there is a pedo lurking behind
every trash can, people get protective of kids, and rightfully so; but there is also a tendency to overdo it and lay blame where it doesn't really
I don't know the full facts of this case, and neither does anyone else, so I don't think we should get out the pitchforks and torches just yet. Allow
me to present this scenario:
There is a mother, to whom police refused to give the children because she "doesn't have their best interests at heart." Something like this doesn't
happen overnight, there must have been a good reason (and documented history) for the cops to make this decision. We have three overweight children
who, lacking any proper parenting, are probably discipline problems. We have a reasonably young grandfather who is apparently not hurting for cash
(he's from Indianapolis, and took the kids to the Grand Canyon on the way to Disneyland - after having already been to Central America and Jamaica
this summer) who appears to be driving these boys too hard. But is he really?
From the article, the only injuries the boys had were blisters on their feet. This is to be expected when taking an 18 mile hike. Believe me, getting
a child to push himself to finish what he has started, especially when the child has to push through pain, isn't an easy task. Kids today are soft,
spoiled by XBox and instant Kraft Mac & Cheese, and if they aren't pushed and encouraged then they will become couch potatoes. I know, I deal with
But getting back to the alleged abuse for a moment, can someone please tell me what alternative there is to walking on blisters when you're in the
middle of an 18 mile hike? Surely nobody expects them to be choppered out? No, you deal with it when you're done hiking. The park ranger said he saw
the grandfather hitting one of the boys with a "rolled-up T-shirt." I would hardly call that abuse. Now if the grandfather had used a branch, or a
hiking boot to strike the boy, well that's different. But using a soft T-shirt to whack a complaining kid upside the head just to get his attention
doesn't rise to the level of "abuse" in my book. There is no way that could hurt, or even sting, the child.
We've all seen or read about horror stories where Child Protective Services takes children out of a home due to what later turn out to be unfounded
allegations. Children have even been known to call CPS themselves to file a charge of abuse against a parent who only spanked the child in what
reasonable people would call an appropriate manner. I would not exclude this as a possibility when one of the children told a passing hiker to "call
the emergency." I can totally envision an ornery kid, who has blisters on his feet and probably didn't want to be there in the first place, making up
stories in order to get out of the hike.
Lacking further evidence, at this point I can only say that the grandfather is guilty of poor judgment. In the first place, you don't start an
overweight kid off on an 18 mile hike; that's a bit much even for a healthy adult. Secondly, part of your gear has to include dry socks, underwear,
first-aid supplies to treat any blisters, enough food to last the hike, and PLENTY of water (especially considering the temperature.) Not being
properly supplied for a hike is stupid, but is not abusive.
For the moment, I'm going to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. He may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I don't think he acted with
malice; I think he was truly trying to take these boys out of an unhealthy environment and turn their lives around. On the other hand, if he was being
mean to the kids and it is proven, I'd be the first in line to kick his ass and take him on a little forced march of his own.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
ETA: Gramps should look into getting the boys into a Scout Troop.
edit on 9/2/2011 by OldCorp because: (no reason given)