March 27, 2006

Mother accused of shackling wayward daughter

BOSTON (Reuters) - Authorities are investigating
allegations that a Massachusetts woman shackled her 14-year-old
daughter in chains to teach her a lesson for skipping school.

The 37-year-old mother of four, whose name was not
released, told police the same chain-and-shackle technique had
proved effective with a truant son several years earlier.

"She was saying that more parents should do this because of
the problems with kids today," Blackstone Detective Wayne Mowry

Police have not arrested the mother but she is being
investigated by state social workers, authorities said on

About two weeks ago the mother bought chain and two
padlocks after being told that her daughter had missed school.
She tracked the girl to a shopping district, bound her
daughter's ankle to one end of the chain and shackled her own
wrist to the other, and then drove to their home in Blackstone,
about 35 miles southwest of Boston, police said.

A police officer who pulled the woman's car over because it
did not have a license plate discovered the two chained
together but he let them go because he had to respond to a more
urgent call, Mowry said.

Police who visited the woman's home later found the
daughter's ankles chained together as she helped her mother
cook dinner, Mowry said.

"The kid was actually upset that we were there," she said.
"She was sticking up for her mother."

Police removed the shackles from the girl, who they said
appeared physically unharmed.

"It was a bad choice," Mowry said. "But the intent wasn't
to hurt her daughter. And there doesn't seem to be a pattern at
all of any type of abuse or neglect."

A spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Social
Services said authorities are unlikely to take the children
from the mother unless they uncover evidence that the children
are in danger, a department spokesman said.