Originally Posted by TaoJones
Well, it changed the title of this thread from "Laura Dekker (13)" to "Laura Dekker."
Not quite what I meant..... Seriously though, what would the authorities do if her parents went away for 3 or 4 months and left her to live in their house completely alone, unattended by adults with enough money
to pay the bills? Suppose they left her is a house where she had to fix things every few days or where some of the things (electric, gas, etc) could kill her. What would happen? It's not like she does not have experience of living in a house. She's done it since babyhood.
We all know what would happen. Child services would put her in care and her parents would be arrested on their return for child neglect. If she had been injured in their absence they might be charged with something more serious.
So why is it OK to toss her out to live on her own for 3 to 4 months with no adult support in a "house" that needs attention every few days and in which some of the repairs
could injure or kill her? Just because it is a boat doesn't make it OK.
To be honest I'm reaching the conclusion that the best thing is to let these people risk their kids' lives sailing around the place until one of the kids
gets badly injured or killed. It's a d*mn stupid way to work but it seems that nobody wants to make these parents step up to their responsibilities and are unlikely to do so until circumstance forces them.
There is no need to change *maritime* law. What needs doing is to enforce existing laws on child safety
and parental responsibility. The parents of these kids
cannot say "Well we couldn't stop her". Of course they could. She cannot sign legal
contracts without a parent's countersignature, nor does she have a credit card. Financing
stuff, etc would all require an adult signature. Her parents cannot duck responsibility.
I'm not just getting at Laura Dekker either. The above applies to ALL children and legal minors. Parents - all parents - have responsibilities towards their children.