Maryland Boy Learns Lesson With "Homeless" Sign Punishment

12-year-old punished for failing to call home

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 12-year-old Maryland boy received unusual punishment Monday for failing to check in with his parents by phone over the weekend. (Published Monday, Jun 18, 2012)

    A man in Waldorf, Md., hopes a bit of public embarrassment will teach his son a lesson about respect.

    Kevin Burks said his 12-year-old son Kenny didn't call home this past weekend when he wanted to spend the night at a friend's house.

    "All he has to do is check in at 8:30," said Burks. But after Kenny didn't call until about 9 p.m. and another friend actually called to say Kenny was spending the night, Burks told his son to come home.

    To teach his son a lesson, Burks had him spend Monday walking up and down the street with a sign that read "Homeless, Won't Listen to Parents."

    "I pay for his clothes, his shoes, the roof over his head, his safety and everything he has," Burks said. "My thing is if you want to be your own adult, you'll sit outside and be your own adult."

    When asked why he didn't just take away his son's video games, Burks responded, "By the time I finish taking all that stuff out of his room and put him on punishment for a week, it won't do any good."

    Burks said he and his son were out from about 9:15 a.m. until about 5 p.m. He said they ate breakfast and lunch and had breaks every two hours.

    A police officer did respond after some neighbors complained that this was cruel punishment. Burks said after explaining the situation, however, the officer actually commended him for his efforts.