Public Punishment

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POSTED: Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 4:30pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 4:44pm

When Hunter Bearden stole $60 from his sister's wallet, the 13-year-old probably wasn't thinking about the consequences, but he is now.

As punishment for stealing and lying, Bearden's father, Grover Bearden, is making his son hold a sign that reads, "I like to steal, and lie, and be disrespectful to others."

"For the rest of the week, I have to stand out here in the hot weather, and everything," said Hunter. "I did like to steal, lie, and disrespect others, but I'm going to try not to now."

Hunter is holding the sign in front of his father's Easlye, South Carolina taxidermy shop, while his dad looks on.

"My dad held back on a spanking, and decided to think about the punishment with my stepmom, and I think that this is working out so far, and the hot weather -- I'm worn down, and I haven't been inside except for a couple minutes today, so I'm thankful for his discipline to make me a better person," said Hunter.

People who passed by had mixed reactions to the punishment.

"I think it is the best idea in the world. I think it'll get through to him, and I bet he will never steal again," said Ellen Brown, who stopped in the parking lot of the taxidermy shop. "I bet my 13-year-old will watch that on the TV, and she will probably learn her lesson, now that I've got the bright idea to do it, too."

"Just driving down the road, and seeing that -- I think that it's kind of funny, as a kid," said Aden Long. "I wouldn't like to be out there like that."

"In today's society, there are too many children that are not being held accountable for their own actions. I think this is very creative parenting," said Andrea Long, who also stopped at the shop.

Hunter did return the money and his sister, Chenoa Davis, accepted his apology.
 

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