The father of a 12 year old girl was taken to court after he grounded his daughter telling her she could not attend a three day trip within Quebec to celebrate the school’s graduating class from elementary school. The courts ruled that he did not have the right to bar her from going on the trip. The judge says the girl had been sufficiently disciplined so she ruled that the punishment was too severe. He does plan to appeal the judge’s decision.

The girl was initially grounded from the internet because the father found out that she posted photos of herself on a dating site on the internet. The girl’s parents are divorced and the father has custody of the girl. Later when she got into a fight with her stepmother the father forbade her from going on the trip. The girl got angry and smacked the door and went to live with her mother according to Kim Beaudoin, the father’s attorney.

In Quebec it doesn’t matter who has custody of a child, there is still joint parental authority. Miriam Grassby, a Quebec family lawyer told CBC News, “I think we could presume the judge had good judgment in the fact that she read the statements and found out what both parents were saying, and that the child was punished at least once for that, and this was excessive punishment.”

I personally think this ruling could send out the wrong signals to the kids out there. This seems to be telling them that the courts are telling us parents that we can’t punish our children for doing things that we feel could cause problems for them if they continue with it. But in cases like this what if a sexual predator would have seen this 12 year old girl’s pictures and decided to go after her. If she would have been kidnapped and raped or killed then the courts would have wanted the father to answer why he allowed her to do such things as post her pictures online to begin with.  It certainly sounds to me like the old double standard here, damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I sure am glad my kids are grown and I don’t have to deal with punishments in this day and time. I would be one mad parent if I was taken to court to have a punishment I gave one of my kids overruled.
Jan Barrett

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