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(photo: KSDK)

Disciplining kids is difficult, but it’s not so difficult that any reasonable adult should run so completely out of ideas that she would stage an elaborate kidnapping scheme to teach her child about “stranger danger.” 

According to STLToday, the terrible mother actually responsible for the kidnapping and traumatizing of her own kid has been sentenced after pleading guilty to a count of felony child endangerment. She faced a lot worse.

In February 2015, a woman named Elizabeth Hupp decided to do something about the fact that her 6-year-old son was “too nice to people” and was not afraid of strangers. So she and two other relatives decided to stage an elaborate fake kidnapping to traumatize the kid out of his habit of trusting strangers.

The boy’s aunt asked a man she worked with to help with the ruse, and rather than recognize it for the mind-bogglingly awful idea it was, he decided to go along with it.

The strange man waited for the 6-year-old to get off the bus from school, then he talked the little boy into getting into his pickup truck. Then he told the boy that he was being kidnapped, and that he’d “never see his mommy again” and that he was going to be “nailed to the wall of a shed.”

Holy shit. That’s terrifying. That poor kid must have been so scared!

When the 6-year-old started to cry, the man actually pulled a handgun on him and said that he’d hurt him if he didn’t stop crying. Then he tied up his hands and feet and put a jacket over his head so he couldn’t see. Then he left the kid bound and covered in his basement.

Eventually the boy was unbound and told to go upstairs, where he found his family members, who gave him a long talking-to about not going away with strangers.

Jesus. These people are horrible. Maybe the kid keeps leaving with strange adults because his family is made up of the kind of people who think this is a good idea.

The family was caught when the boy told people at school what had happened, and the bewildered school officials called child services. The family reportedly admitted to it and said they’d done nothing wrong.

Like everybody else in the world, a judge did not agree. This week the aunt was sentenced to seven years in prison, but the judge reportedly suspended the execution of the sentence and gave her five years probation. The mother was also put on five years probation. They originally faced kidnapping charges, but those charges were dropped and the mother later pleaded guilty to felony child endangerment instead.

The man who actually kidnapped the boy reportedly still faces charges of kidnapping, felonious restraint, and child abuse.