In a world full of broken families and orphans, how can we complain when parents are too protective? The media mocks so-called helicopter parenting, their term for when parents "hover" over their children and try to control every aspect of their lives. But really, is it so wrong to love your child so much? Is there really such a thing as taking parenting too far?
#6. Dad Builds Baseball Team to Destroy Son's Former Coach
Robert Sanfilippo's 10-year-old son was kicked off his youth baseball team for poor performance, an act that Sanfilippo felt demanded retribution. He eschewed the sensible approach of teaching his son better baseball skills or maybe even paying to send him to one of those training camps, as none of that sane bullshit would absolve his son of the indignity of having failed in a competitive atmosphere. Instead, Sanfilippo decided to form his own damn baseball team for the sole purpose of crushing his son's old coach, John Reardon, and making him rue the day he ever considered cutting the boy. Sanfilippo spent $50,000 of his own money to recruit and train his team.
"Find me a pitcher. 12. Male. Lefty. You have 48 hours."
This included $300 each for custom helmets with skull-and-crossbones insignia. Sanfilippo placed ads in local papers looking for angry players who had been kicked off other teams, which presumably read, "Totally non-psychotic baseball coach seeks jilted kids who wish to enjoy the sweet fruit of reprisal from the tree of revenge." In the high-stakes world of youth baseball, anything goes. The name of the team, no joke, was the Long Island Vengeance.
Captain Ahab was their mascot.
Did we mention that all this was done to bring down a team of 10- and 11-year-olds?
While this is certainly a bit of an overreaction to his kid getting cut from the team, it's not like it's illegal. But why should Sanfilippo stop there? So, in addition to creating the Vengeance, Sanfilippo scouted his competition ... although by "scouted," we mean "stalked and harassed." Sanfilippo staked out Reardon's residence and used a telephoto lens to take pictures of his family's activities, like when his wife would walk their son to the bus stop in the morning. Sanfilippo would then text these photos to Reardon, along with threats to kidnap his son. We're not sure what he would have demanded in ransom had he carried out his threat, but it probably involved Reardon's team taking a dive in the ninth inning and an apology letter to Sanfilippo's son for going all "being totally fair" on him.
There has rarely been a more satisfying image than this dumb fuckhole in cuffs.
Unfortunately for Sanfilippo, the supposedly untraceable phone he was using to carry out his insane vendetta was, in fact, quite traceable, and as a result he was arrested and now faces 20 well-deserved counts of aggravated harassment.
#5. Pushy Parents Take Over Easter Egg Hunt
OK, so maybe you've already heard about crazy sports parents like Sanfilippo up there, the ones who treat every Little League game like losing will traumatize their kids forever. And after all, who hasn't gotten carried away at a sporting event once or twice? So let us ask you this: How trivial and ridiculous would a competitive event have to be before it's safe from even the craziest of overprotective parents? An Easter Egg hunt, you say?
"Now remember what Mommy taught you about incompetence."
Well, don't tell that to parents in Colorado Springs. What was supposed to be a friendly neighborhood activity for the local children turned into a melee when parents hijacked the hunt and scooped up the eggs themselves. Yes, the spectating mommies and daddies couldn't bear the thought of their little ones experiencing the soul-crushing setback of coming away without any eggs (despite the fact that there were thousands lying on the ground in plain sight), so they hurdled over the rope marking the boundary to the hunt and grabbed for those eggs. Chaos ensued.
"You can touch the eggs after I've washed them. Bunnies carry salmonella."
As one parent related:
"You have all these eggs just lying around, and parents helping out. You better believe I'm going to help my kid get one of those eggs. I promised my kid an Easter egg hunt and I'd want to give him an even edge."
Damn straight! All children deserve every advantage they can get their little hands on, especially since their parents saw to it that they didn't get their hands on any actual eggs. What point is there in letting their children find eggs on their own when they can do it for them? Besides, their long adult arms are especially effective at shoving tiny competitors out of the way.
"GET that shit outta my house!"
Organizers canceled the event the following year.
#4. Mom Hacks School Computer, Changes Grades
Catherine Venusto, a secretary with the Northwestern Lehigh School District, was like most parents in that she wanted to see her children succeed in the classroom. Sure, she could help them with their homework, or hire a tutor. But why not cut out the middleman? So, using the superintendent's username and password, she sneaked into the school's database to alter her children's grades over 100 times.
Eventually, Venusto left her job at the school to work for QVC. But even there, she continued to log in remotely to fiddle with grades. In one case, she changed her son's grade from a 98 to a 99, because damn it, any asshole can get a 98. She also changed one of her daughter's failing grades to a medical exemption. In this case, the medical hardship was presumably that she has a mother who is out of her mind.
Via ABC News
No matter where you move your head, her eyes follow you.
Red flags finally went up when teachers noticed the grades changing themselves, meaning either somebody was up to no good or their computers were possessed. It probably didn't take long to figure out who was behind the hack. (Hint: It's someone connected to the children whose grades are being changed -- oh, look at this, one of their parents used to work for the school.)
We should note that when investigators asked her why she did it, Venusto said it wasn't out of a desire to rig the game on behalf of her children, but out of boredom (apparently, selling kitsch items to OCD suffers wasn't stimulating enough for her). Her defense was that she didn't know that breaking into a computer system and changing grades was against the law. Hey, Ferris Bueller got away with it!
"I just ordered $20,000 worth of beans on a fake credit card. That's fine, right?"