Sandwich Board Kids

Would you punish your teens by making them wear sandwich boards?
3:00 | 09/14/12

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Transcript for Sandwich Board Kids
It happens all over the country. And it's controversial. These kids are in trouble with their parents. And they're being forced to wear a sandwich board, screaming their offense. That's why she's out here today. Because she apparently has not learned her lesson. Even judges are sentencing criminals to the dreaded sandwich board. Public humiliatihumiliation. Does it work? Well, some parents swear by it. But some experts say it's nothing less than emotiona abuse. "What would you do?" If you came face to face with it? Today, we're in south orange, new jersey, to find out. Mom, this is humiliating. Good. You humiliated me. How many signatures do we need? You need 50 before you can go anywhere. Reporter: Our tween was caught smoking and stealing. Does the punishment fit the crime? You would send your kid out here, right? Sure, why not. Reporter: It's a busy day along this sidewalk, and right away, people side with the mom. Can I take a picture with that? Yes! So, I'm doing the right thing? Doing the right thing, yes. Reporter: Others insist this kind of public shaming is not the way to go. That's not good. I'm sorry. I don't think this is going to work. What else can I do? I don't know. A good talk. Reporter: You felt strongly about this, right? I wouldn't do that. It's humiliating for her to be out there. I don't think it works. I think it just kind of continues the anger between the two of them. Reporter: This man seeps both sides of the argument. She has a point. Shouldn't be humiliating for smoking but you shouldn't be smoking, either. Reporter: This father, also, does not agree with the punishment. You think it's right to put that on her like that? I can't do anything else. It's not right. Rrlt he suggestions an alternative. A night in jail. She may just have to learn the hard way and spend the night in jail. The biggest way to get the point across is that she'd have to spend the night in jail. I think she would rebel more by being humiliated. Reporter: We roll again. She's2. Reporter: This man studied psychology and makes it clear, in his opinion, mom is absolutely wrong. I understand, you're abusing her. I'm abusing her? It's a little too much. You want to punish the behavior, not the child. You're her best friend, too. I don't know what too with her. Love her. Reporter: With our young girl, the response on the street seems to be equal. Half of the people we meet agree with the punishment and the other half disagree. But what will happen now when we replace kaylynn with a boy? Maybe now you'll listen. You agree this is appropriate punishment -- yeah. You didn't spank his butt? You're doing the right thing. Reporter: Spanking? Maybe the sandwich board isn't such a bad idea after all. She does this every time I do something bad. And you keep doing bad stuff, though, this is surprising, because you keep getting caught. Reporter: I'm john quinones. Oh, my gold. Reporter: It's "what would you do?" He's an actor. I thought it was an appropriate punishment. You knowhat? I might have stopped being a bad teenager much earlier than i did. Reporter: If this had been done to you, you might have stopped. I might have stopped. So, what you're doing now is wonderful and I said to him, you will never forget this. I mean, I'm having chills right now, because that's great. Reporter: Time to give her the truth. I'm john quinones -- oh, my -- I'm happy to meet you. Reporter: I'm happy to meet you. Oh. I have the chills. Reporter: You agree that this is okay, the punishment? Yes. Oh, wow. Reporter: She wasn't on your side, justin. But neither is anyone else. In fact, none of the people walking by all afternoon sides with justin. But there's more to come. In our final scene, we meet two passionate women whose opinions are polar opposites. Your mom instituted this? Yes, ma'am. I just been standing out here just twirling around all day. You making me laugh. Don't you think this is overkill, though? No, but I guess you won't do it again. No, but I'm still embarrassed. That's -- that's her point. Was you embarrassed while you was stealing and lying? This is wonderful. Thank you. You know what I told him -- Reporter: Not only does she approve, she helps out with the discipline. I signed it but keep twirling. This ain't going to scar you. Reporter: But then this next women is clearly shocked by the entire scene. This is punishment. That's wrong. I don't agree. I mean, this is like public humiliation. Exactly. Maybe he'll learn. Exactly. You're not going to teach him that way. Let me tell you something. Keep turning. Yeah. I don't think so. I really don't think so. Keep twirling. I really don't think so. Reporter: As justin keeps twirling, sherry sinclair gets personal with jennifer berkeley. You don't -- you know, you don't come from a black background where it's hard -- it's hard -- I come from an italian background, I grew up in the bronx and -- you had it harod? Your brothers and sisters in jail? As a young black boy -- you think so -- back in my bay, yday, you gop a whooping. Me, too. I'm sorry, I can't -- who you are to tell a woman this is wrong? You can just say for yourself -- this is my opinion. I'm not telling her what to do. I'm telling her she's wrong, you should say, I just don't agree. You're absolutely right. I don't agree with this. This is not my child. I would not humiliate my child. What would you do? Reporter: I couldn't have said it better myself. Time for us to break this up. Did you hear me? I was like, good, keep turning. Reporter: Why d think she disagrees? I couldn't understand why you disagreed. I thought that was proper punishment today, because he -- she didn't hit, he wasn't getting hit. He was being humiliated, maybe this would give him a second, you know, think before you -- I think the scars of something like that are much -- good. Much more permanent than the scars eing hit by someone. Reporter: It turned into a black-white thing, though. It did. Reporter: Two people who now agree to disagree. Throughout the day, there was no gray area here. Most people were either strongly for sandwich boarding or passionately against it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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