Archived Story

Story of chained children makes blood boil

Published 8:20am Thursday, May 5, 2011

Column: Thanks for Listening

I was reading last week about the Dexter parents who face criminal charges for allegedly chaining their children to beds and withholding food. My blood began to boil.

To recap the story for you: Two children, ages 5 and 8, allegedly were deprived of basic needs like food and access to the bathroom. The younger of the two weighs in at 30 pounds. (The national average for a 5-year-old boy is 41.7 pounds.)

Then, as I continue to read this horrific story, the following statements are jumping out at me, thus enraging me further.

These statements are all are according to court documents:

“The 8-year-old told police he has gotten in trouble at school for taking food from other kids because he’s hungry most of the time.”

“When officers searched the home, they found a heavy metal chain attached to a crib with no mattress.”

“The mother works as a nurse.”

“The mother said the chain on the crib is there to keep him from ‘getting into things.’”

“When officers interviewed the mom, she said, ‘Honestly it was not my idea, it was my husband’s idea, and I honestly don’t agree with it.’”

So after calming down a bit, I decided that I should write about this for my column this week. I wanted to make sure that these two so-called human beings understand that what they allegedly did was malicious, hateful and cruel.

To take a child at any age and deprive them of food and a healthy atmosphere is disgraceful. To further find out that the mother of these children is a nurse and is trained to take care of people is downright shocking.

Both of these parents should have all of their parental rights stripped away. Being a parent is a blessing, and guiding children is something that responsible, loving caregivers do. You both not only fail at parenthood, but you fail in general compassion for fellow human beings. These children depended on you and look at the mental and physical abuse that you both put them through.

You both disgrace good parents everywhere.

Please keep these two children in your thoughts and prayers as they adjust to changes in their life.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Marilyn, and my wife, Bonnie — two awesome moms!

Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.