You have all made some great points, and called me to the carpet on a few. Let me throw this out:
I agree, you can be GREAT parents, and still have a kid who just turns out bad. My point is that even if you are the best parents in the world, you should take this possibility into account. You took it upon yourselves to bring this kid into the world, and as such, you are responsible for his/her actions until they are an adult. At some point, assuming you are not stupid, you must realize that the kid is not responding to your responsible upbringing.
Is it not encumbant upon you to protect the rest of us from the child YOU brought into the world? After the first few dozen incidents, if it were my child, I would put him into an environment, say a boot-camp situation, which would take him out of society, and hopefully be a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate him. I certainly would not let him continue to attend public schools, or associate with the general public in any way.
My original point was that no matter how good or bad the parents are, they all take the responsibility of bringing this person into being. I think upbringing of this person more or less will turn them into a good or bad (or, god forbid, dangerous) member of society.
But it is still the responsibility of the parents who choose to do this to ensure that they indeed DO become a responsible person. And heaven forbid, if the do not, it is up to the parents to take appropriate measures.
I just have the feeling that in a few cases, the parents are not taking the appropriate measures to safeguard society.
Someone mentioned earlier that their step-kid was out of control despite the best upbringing possible. I would say to this person that I admire your patience and attempts at tyring to reform him… but at some point, isn’t it your responsibility to take him out of society and to use whatever measures at your disposal to save him, and protect society from him?