Mom Disagrees With Dad Taking Away Son’s Phone & TV For A Year After He Committed A Hate Crime

Was this the right thing to do?

Father disappointed in son

A father took to Reddit in order to see whether or not he was justified in his actions for reprimanding his 14-year-old son after he committed a hate crime against a Jewish boy.

The subreddit AITA, or r/Am I The A--hole, is a place for anyone to post their story, and receive replies and comments on whether or not their decisions are appropriate or not.

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The rating system is based on comments that will either read, NTA, which stands for “Not The A--hole,” YTA, which stands for “You’re The A--hole,” NAH, which means “No A--holes Here,” or ESH, which means “Everyone Sucks Here.”

Is this father in the wrong for taking away his son’s phone and selling his computer and TV for a year after he committed a hate crime?

“My son, aged 14 was in some trouble with his school and even the police after he attacked a Jewish boy unprovoked whilst shouting racial slurs,” started the concerned father who made the post.


“I won’t go into detail exactly what he said but it was completely abhorrent. I don’t know where this behavior came from but it has caused a lot of distress to me and my wife,” he continued.

This has already started pretty heavy because a hate crime is not something to be taken lightly no matter who is at the other end of it.

For a parent not to have known that their child was antisemitic, it must have been quite the blow for them to take — of course, there should be some sort of punishment for that behavior.

“I took away his computer & TV and sold it, it’s gone,” said the father. “I took his phone and gave him an old Motorolla without any smartphone features just if he needs to contact us in an emergency. For the next 11 months, he is going to have no access to the internet inside our home.”


Logically speaking, if the parents have no idea where this kind of behavior came from then it’s highly likely that it came from external sources like the internet, which is full of radicalization.

That means, in order to prevent their son from seeing more of those hateful messages, taking away the internet is one solid step in the right direction — however, the wife disagrees.

“After a few weeks my wife started to tell me that my punishment is a bit harsh but I'm ready to stick to my guns,” he explained, “she told me that having a smartphone is basically essential for a boy of his age. He seems to be incredibly sorry, he has very little to do when he comes home from school but I want him to know just how severe his actions were.”

This is where some people seem to separate themselves from the father because the message simply ends here — but more needs to be done.


There was a resounding “NTA” rating but people had addendums that needed tending to in order to fully help the teenager understand what he’s done wrong.

“NTA but if you don't include therapy for him in this, you're really not finishing the job,” said the top comment, short and sweet, and this is how a lot of people feel.

It’s not enough just to take away all of those external sources, he also needs to understand the root of his unexplained hatred.


While the mother brings up a good point that his social life has now been cut down to nearly 0, it’s important that whatever drove him to this point in the first place be eradicated alongside therapy and guidance.

“NTA, and as a Jewish person, thank you so much for taking this so seriously,” said another top comment.

“For your son's sake, I would also suggest therapy, and getting in touch with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre or the Anti-Defamation League, both of whom can connect you and your son with local resources to really help him understand how what he did was dangerous and damaging to people in my community.”


The education aspect is what’s really important, because as other people mentioned under the post as well, if he doesn’t learn from this he’ll likely just blame those same people he showed hatred toward for “getting him in trouble.”

The punishment will only work if more comes out of it than just the punishment.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.