If the whole world knows about about his son’s first theft, maybe there won’t be a second. That’s what Joseph Gonzalez believes. His 12-year-old son Jose took $100 from the wallet of his cousin at the family’s Aurora home.

Jose’s punishment is spending many hours of his spring break standing on the corner of 22nd and Larimer streets in downtown Denver with a bright yellow sign announcing: “I am a thief. I took money from a family member.”

“He’s a good kid,” Gonzalez said. “This is the first time he’s done something like this. I hope it will be the last.” His cousin worked hard to make that money, Gonzalez said. ahe said he’s not worried about his son’s reputation.

“Nah, he’s only 12 years old,” he said. “Everybody makes mistakes at that time in their life. It’s about being corrected.”

Gonzalez said his son was “pretty sad at first” about the discipline.

“But then he took it like a little man,” he said.

He has raised his son alone since Jose was 3 years old. Gonzalez believes in the Bible’s command to correct your child.

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