Gentry and Renee Nickell of Crestview, Florida, forced their 13-year-old daughter to hold up a humiliating sign at a traffic intersection for a 90 minutes on Saturday in order to punish her for being disrespectful.
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The sign read, "I'm a self-entitled teenage w/ NO respect for authority. I'm also super smart, yet I have 3 'D's' because I DON'T CARE!," according to International Business Times. The parents claimed that they "just didn't know what else to do."
The couple was shocked to learn that photos that motorists had taken of their daughter had gone viral on Facebook, according to the Christian Post. One motorists even called the police and reported that the punishment was far too extreme.
Renee Nickell, the girl's mother, said that she got the idea from a Christian counselor a few years ago, according to Belga News.
"I wasn't even thinking about what the public was going to think. I was thinking about our daughter. It was for her to be in the public and recognize what she had done wrong," the girl's mother said, according to the Christian Post.
The parents' original plan was to have their daughter stand outside with the sign for 90 minutes, the Christian Post reports. "I told her, 'It depends on how well you take it. If you take it like a champ, we'll wrap it up and be done with it,'" the girl's father told Florida Daily News. He said that despite criticism he stood by his punishment and didn't think others should judge them.
The family had suffered a tragedy in December 2011 when Renee's brother passed away and the Nickells felt that their daughter had changed since that event, the Christian Post reports. The parents justified the punishment in a statement saying, "We are a family that has been (through) recent trauma and it took a desperate attempt to show our daughter we are not letting her go, just like our Lord did for us."
The NFW reported that police arrived at the scene but left after confirming that the girl was "aware of her punishment and she was not in any harm," according to the Christian Post.
Various news sources confirm that this is not the first time this method has been used on children in order to try and make them learn from their mistakes. Last year, another Florida family forced their 15-year-old daughter Jasmine to stand on a busy street corner wearing a sign that read, "I sneak boys in at 3 am and disrespect my parents and grandparents," according to IBT.