Most likely none of us want our kids to start smoking, or drinking before they are old enough, but keeping a teenager from doing either of those things is pretty difficult. When it comes to smoking, there’s a famous and folksy old “tough love” punishment where parents who catch their kids smoking force the kid to finish smoking the whole pack, in the hopes that the kid will feel terribly sick and associate smoking with awful nausea and will never want to smoke again. That doesn’t exactly sound like a great idea, but some parents try it anyway. When it comes to alcohol, however, that is a wildly inappropriate and dangerous thing to do, and now one set of parents is facing charges after their teenage son died of alcohol poisoning after they tried to “teach him a lesson.”
According to Yahoo Parenting,
16-year-old Kendal Balls died of alcohol poisoning in early July after
drinking with his stepfather. Balls’ mother, Paulette Richardson, says
they gave Kendal a few shots of Fireball whiskey and a few shots of Jack
Daniels over the course of about two hours, and that they were hoping
he would get a bad hangover that would “teach him a lesson” about
alcohol and inspire him to stay away from it. The Richardsons say Balls’
biological father is an alcoholic and they were worried that he would
take after him and were just trying to help. But however much alcohol
Balls consumed was enough to kill him.
Balls’ stepfather, Joseph Richardson, says Balls went to bed around
10:30 p.m., and he went to check on him at 3:45 a.m. and found him
unresponsive. The Richardsons called 911, but their son died, and a
coroner’s report found that his blood alcohol level was 0.587, which is
more than seven times the legal limit for an adult in Wyoming.
This is a tragic, awful story and a terrible, irresponsible act of
idiocy on the part of the parents. Everyone knows that too much alcohol
can kill a person, and a bad hangover never stopped anyone from drinking
The Richardsons have been arrested and charged with involuntary
manslaughter for the death of their son. They face up to 20 years in
prison if convicted.