Jacob and Angela Boggus of Belen, New Mexico, have reportedly forced their 16-year-old son to live in a tent for two weeks in June as punishment. In response, neighbors have called the police on the parents (video below).
"I don’t see anything that is abusive or negligent," Valencia County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Gary Hall told KRQE.
"We’re not doing anything wrong," Angela said. "We are simply trying to teach our child a lesson."
"If he doesn’t learn that now, it’s gonna be the whole world’s problem, not just ours, in a couple of years," Jacob added.
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The parents said their son has been stealing from them, and they have not been able to straighten him out with traditional parenting measures, so they are trying this unusual step.
"Or we let him run all over and then he’s in your backyard taking your stuff," Jacob said.
The parents are still feeding their son, providing him with water, and allowing him to use the bathroom in their house; the boy still sleeps inside the home starting at 9 p.m.
"We are trying to do the best that we can," Angela said.
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Deputies have been out to the home three times because of neighbors' calls, but no crime has been committed, according to law enforcement.
"It’s not like he’s been banished out to the mesa a hundred miles away from civilization," Hall said.
"Anybody who wants to try to talk some sense into him is more than welcome," Jacob said. "We’re not trying to hide from this."
No word if any of the concerned neighbors have taken up that offer.
The couple said they plan to make their son live outside for a full month unless he writes them five book reports about being a respectable young man.
The National Weather Service noted that Belen got up to 94 degrees on June 20, prompting an alert for "record-breaking, dangerous heat," reports the New York Daily News.