A Tennessee couple have been arrested for locking three adopted children in a bedroom and a shed for at least six months as punishment. The children were allowed to go to school, but otherwise two remained in a locked bedroom and one in an outdoor shed. They were not even allowed to leave to use the bathroom and had small portable toilets in their jails. The 14-year-old boy who was locked in the shed stayed there through months of freezing temperatures.
Two of the children, a 17-year-old and a 12-year-old were discovered kept prisoner in their bedroom, with the windows screwed shut so they couldn't escape. The boy was found in the outdoor shed with no heat or running water. While he did have a space heater, temps had dropped below zero most nights. "It's horrendous," said a chief at the Sheriff's Office.
The children's plight was found out when the teen girl, described as quiet at school, began to open up about her abuse to a classmate. The classmate eventally called police while she was with the girl. Thank goodness the teen worked up the courage to tell people what was happening.
Meanwhile, the parents apparently lived in comfort, with "big screen TVs in there all over the place," said a neighbor.
It's unclear why the adults had custody of the children, who were apparently not their biological kids.
It's possible that the children did get into trouble, but this is not the way to discipline children, locking them away for six months! Especially not in a shed during freezing temperatures. It's a miracle the boy didn't die.
Maybe the couple weren't beating the kids but this is psychological torment, which is almost worse. Making the kids into prisoners in their own home is revolting. In fact, prisoners get treated better.
However these kids ended up there, it's clear that they must have already been subjected to a lot in their short lives, as they apparently do not have biological parents. Now they had to endure this! The children have been placed in foster care and hopefully that will be the beginning of something better for them, not worse.
Now hopefully the adults get a taste of being imprisoned with a portable toilet.
What do you think of this form of punishment?
Image via Tipton County Sheriff's Dept.