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Teen Made To Hold Sign After Stealing – Is Public Humiliation A Fair Punishment?

Selah Kid
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You’ve heard of learning the hard way? A young man standing on 1st street in Selah, WA with a sign this morning, and he wasn’t begging for money. He was wearing a sign that said “I Stole from John and Mareli.”

This photo of Leland McClellan (the sign bearer) has been flying all over Facebook and getting a ton of comments from different people. Some locals know this kid and his parents and the comments in the court of public opinion have been pretty merciless. Facebook, and the ability to quickly share a photo, can add to the humiliation, with more people see it and can give their personal opinion on the matter.

The ‘John’ in ‘John and Mareli’ added this:

First, he was given a choice, not forced to do anything. A: go to jail for theft or B: wear the sign. Second, the idea is NOT simply public humiliation but an attempt to get the young man to accept responsibility for his actions and hopefully change the path he has chosen for his life which has been marked by theft from family, friends and strangers including jail time just finished up less than a week prior to this crime.

John went on to say that the boy held up his end of the bargain and that John will hold up his on helping him find a better path.

Before the tech age the only people who would see it were the ones who actually drove by the young man, and he couldn’t see their comments. Now it’s all over the Internet and I’m not sure what the effects will be on this young guy. Every human has done something that they regret in their life, whether you’ve stolen, lied, cheated – we have all done things we regret. The question is … do you think the parents made the right choice by putting him on a street corner with a sign? I’m thinking back to that father a few months ago who shot his daughters laptop. I have a feeling that his relationship with his daughter’s is beyond repair. I just don’t know what the best thing is for all involved? What do you think? Is public humiliation too harsh of a punishment or is it a good way to teach a lesson? Vote in our poll below and let us know what you think!


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