Is Something Wrong With This Picture? NonViolent Punishment Subjects Mother to Criminal Charges and Family to Child Welfare Investigation

Suburban to exurban Tennessee Husband and Wife have two teen-aged Daughters.

One day (and possibly many others before it), Daughters miss their school bus.

Wife decides it is time to punish Daughters.

Their punishment is having to walk to school instead of ride.

The distance is roughly 3.5 miles.

Daughters are both normal, healthy kids.

Wife drives the route, with Daughters walking along the side of the road.

A couple of county Sheriffs happen to observe this.

In their opinion, it is too cold, the distance too great and the punishment too dangerous.

So, Sheriffs arrest Wife for child neglect.

And it doesn’t end there.

It is Wife’s misfortune that her driver’s license is invalid. Add driving without a valid license to the charges against Wife.

And as a result, Sheriffs seek alternative transportation to school for Daughters.

When Husband and Father-in-Law arrive, Father-in-law flies off the handle and he too is subjected to criminal charges by Sheriffs.

At this point, it should come as no surprise that Tennessee’s child welfare agency is into the act and Daughters potentially face removal from Husband and Wife’s home.

One editorialist comments on life in the Nanny State and hypothesizs that some children who are not being punished may walk this distance to school daily.


  1. this New York Daily News article: Tenn mom made daughters walk on highway as punishment and
  2. this Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial : The crime of walking .