A Facebook post, which went viral this past weekend, begs the question of whether parents should be held accountable for the actions of their children.
Kennedy Deese, whose sister Chynna Deese was found dead along with her boyfriend Lucas Fowler near Laird Hot Springs in northern B.C., believes the father of one of the suspects isn’t accepting his share of responsibility in her family’s bereavement.
In reference to Alan Schmegelsky, Deese posted: “Your sorrow is for yourself. You cannot relate to us, as we had no doings in the cause of your pain, when you’ve played a part in the cause of our pain. To the murderers and their family, the appropriate action when mistakes are made is taking responsibility. The proper public response would have been a genuine apology. But, we still forgive you and have mercy.”
There is nothing more heartbreaking to a parent, sibling or grandparent than the murder of a loved one, especially when the victim is young and with their whole life ahead of them. Deese’s reaction was not unusual. Her criticism is certainly not unfair.
Remember, Alan Schmegelsky has also lost a son. He will live with this shame for the rest of his life. Many will never forgive him.
In addition to the alleged deaths of three individuals, the two fugitives created panic all across northern Manitoba.
Should he have noticed warning signs earlier? Definitely. But, many parents don’t want to know their kids are on drugs, bullying other kids, or worshiping hate on the internet. Even when parents are told, they don’t believe it.
This is what makes teaching and police work challenging for professionals in today’s world.
Twenty years ago, following the Columbine school shooting, it was suggested the parents be jailed. Yet it’s highly unlikely they conspired with their sons, nor did they take pleasure in the outcome of that awful day. If they had a second chance, obviously they would have done things differently.
Some of the best parents end up raising troubled kids. Others simply don’t have the skill required to raise children, which doesn’t disqualify them from having kids.
Should Alan Schmegelsky have known better? Could he have prevented the alleged murders of three innocent people? Did he do the best he could do as a parent?
Only he knows the answers.