Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to the island of Saint Helena. The Dalai Lama was exiled from his home in Tibet. But for New Mexico teen Adam Boggus, exile takes the form of a tent in his backyard, a punishment he received for stealing his sister’s iPod.
Adam Boggus, the oldest child in the family, has had problems with stealing since kindergarten, his mom reports to People. He was on his best behavior for some months before the incident, but then he stole his little sister’s iPod last month.
His parents, Angela and Jacob Boggus, decided to take action and bought a tent for him to live in over the summer as a consequence of his actions. Adam will live in the tent until he has read five books and written book reports on them.
What Does He Do In The Tent?
Adam reads and does his summer school homework all day in the three-person tent. He is done with one book report and working on two others.
He is allowed inside at 9pm to sleep, partly because “we have the occasional snake and tarantula around here” his father reports. He also eats meals and uses the bathroom inside but otherwise remains in his backyard tent.
When it gets hot, the teen uses the hose to drink water or cool himself off, but he hasn’t had to do that too often.
Adam is totally cool with his parents’ choice of punishment. He says “Sure, I’d rather be in my room with the air conditioning. But I understand why my parents are doing this. I won’t steal again because I don’t want this to ever happen again.” He even pitched the tent himself after they bought it.
What Do People Think?
Neighbors noticed Adam in the backyard and called in complaints. They didn’t think him spending so much time outside in 100-degree New Mexico heat was healthy. This quickly spread the news.
Most people are in support of Jacob and Angela’s parenting choice, and have expressed that support to local television Facebook pages.
Gary Hall, the Chief Deputy for the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office, is also in agreement with the decision. He has sent deputies to check on the teen with the recent hot weather, but has found nothing out of order or harmful to him. Hall says he’s grateful for the Boggus parents’ initiative towards making their son a better person.
Jacob Boggus notes that he and his wife take no shame in their punishment for Adam. He responds to those who oppose it by saying how “These days, it doesn’t seem like accountability is a high priority for children in this country. So in our family, we’re changing that.”
Adam asks people not to be too harsh with judgment, as “I know I screwed up, so I don’t want people coming down on my parents about this. I know that they love me.”