A New Mexico family punished their 16-year-old son by making him live in a tent in their yard, prompting neighbors to call the police.
Jacob and Angela Boggus said they had no choice when they decided to punish their son the way they did.
"We’re not doing anything wrong here," Angela told KRQE. "We’re 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.
According to the couple, their son repeatedly stole from them and they made several attempts to get him to stop.
"Or we let him run all over and then he’s in your backyard taking stuff," Boggus said. The parents reportedly feed their son while he's in the tent, and allow him to use the bathroom in the house. He's also allowed to go inside at 9 p.m. every night to sleep.
"We are trying to do the best that we can," Angela said.
Some neighbors felt the parents were being too harsh with their son and saw the punishment as excessive.
"It's an awful thing to do to a human being," one neighbor said.
Police, however, said they don't see anything wrong with the parents' punishment.
"It's not like he's been banished out to the mesa a hundred miles away from civilization," Deputy Gary Hall, chief of the Valencia County Sheriff’s Department, said.
The sheriff's office has not taken any action against the parents.
Despite mixed feelings from neighbors, many readers applauded the parents for doing what they needed to help their son.
"At least their taking some responsibility for teaching their child right from wrong..." one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page. "...Those neighbors should mind their own business..And take care of their own kids and lack of parenting skills."
Another added: "Sounds just like what many families across America already do: bring a disgruntled teen along on the yearly family camping trip, minus the book reports. Lol .... People need to understand that coddling, excuses and/ or just relying on medicating kids with behavior issues is (more times than not) what destroys their futures."
"I agree with the parents," another reader chimed in. "Sometimes you have to parent first, the friend second. Don't worry about the neighbors...they would be the first to call the police on your son if he did something to them or their property. Also agree that you have to teach a child how to behave in the world."