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07/08/2010 at 12:00 PM ET

Some stories for your Thursday afternoon:


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Shawna on

That thing about jailing parents due to missing teacher-parent conferences is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Who died and made teachers or the schools God? Some parents (including myself) because that the schools work for us and that we are the final authority on our children. I would be moving to a different place if that kind of law occurred here. And what about those who homeschool? Will all those parents be jailed? It is just asinine, and just one step closer to leaving the entire raising of children to the state.

Anon on

It seems really odd to me the way this article presents Cristiano Ronaldo’s baby’s name…don’t fathers name their sons after themselves all the time? I thought that was a fairly common thing to do. This presents it as though he’s done some ridiculous and unfathomable thing.

Also, the jailing parents for missing parent/teacher conferences is awful. The school and the state should be accountable to families, not the other way around. And, yes, it sounds like those children in the article have been failed in a lot of ways, but I don’t think jailing parents is the answer. Unless neglect and/or abuse can be proven, in which case there are already laws in place. This article scares me a little…as did that article a while back about schools stepping in to separate children who seemed to be becoming “best friends” because they wanted to encourage large social groups rather than one on one friendships. Who do they think they are? I think the school system takes too much liberty in trying to control every aspect of a child’s life…educate our children, don’t micromanage them!

Sonya on

I agree Anon, what’s so strange about having a junior? My brother and cousin are both named after their fathers (not to mention numerous other people) and no one comments on it.

And just to mention, I love the name Cristiano and am glad there’s a new baby with such a great name:-)

JC on

The first poster should read the article for spouting off about the school system thinking they are “God”. The teachers they talk to don’t agree with jail time. This is a law by a POLITICAN trying to gain attention for themselves mostly. The law will never make it out of committee because it infringes on civil liberities. I do enjoy that these policiticans think stupid things like putting parents in jail will help their children when children whose parents are in jail have been proven to end up in the exact same place.

Alex on

I would like to make a comment on the bike riding story. I actually do live in London and I have children in my family of 8 and 5 (like the ones in the story). Not in a million years would I (or their parents) allow them to ride to school unattended for a distance of a mile. It is absolutely not safe in a city. Not only that, but putting an 8-year-old in a position where they are supervising a 5-year-old sibling like that is just absurd. It might be a different story if the children were slightly older, it was over a shorter distance, and it wasn’t in London, but anyone with experience of London roads knows that the drivers often have a mind of their own (as I’m sure is the case in many big cities). Riding a bike and inevitably crossing a road with one even if you’re mainly riding on pavements (which is a pain in the rearend for pedestrians) is not the safest thing for two young kids to be doing unsupervised.

I think involving social services was a step too far, the school could’ve spoken to the parents themselves, but I do agree something needed to be said. Should the children be safe? Yes. But the sad fact is that with traffic and the everpresent threat of “stranger danger”, putting two young children in that situation is just plain stupid on the part of the parents.

dfs on

Yeah but if the school had just spoken to the parents, the parents probably wouldn’t have listened. I agree that they shouldn’t be jailed for child abuse, but calling social services might have been the only way to get the message across.

Alex on

Dfs – good point, they may actually have spoken to the parents anyway I guess. I think strong words of advice would’ve been enough, but yes, perhaps them coming from social services would have more effect. The fact that the parents were the ones who took this story to the newspapers just goes to show how wildly out of touch (and, frankly, plain wrong) they are. They are assuming most people will agree with their standpoint, where as most parents (and adults in general) will see this situation for what it is; dangerous for the children.

Lorus on

It seems as though the biological mother of Ronaldo’s baby isn’t in the picture. He isn’t mentioning who she is and the newborn is being taken care of by HIS mother and sister. I wonder if she didn’t want the child or was maybe pushed out of his life. I can’t imagine any mother who wants to be in her child’s life just leaving them as a newborn.

Robyn on

Lorus, supposedly Cristiano hired a surrogate mother to carry his child so when she gave birth, she had no rights to the child. (There’s rumors that he’s gay but wanted a child so yeah I guess a surrogate would do the job). The model he went to NYC with isn’t the child’s mother.

It’s really sad. If you don’t want to take care of your own child, why have one? I know his mother probably welcomed that baby with open arms but she shouldn’t have to raise another child when her own son is an adult.

dfs on

Lorus, I read on several other sites that he used a surrogate. Not sure if that’s true, but it does make sense.

MiB on

Anon, naming a child after yourself doesn’t seem to be uncommon in the states, but it is in basically all of Europe, Portugal is no exception.