Court Overturns Grounding of 12 Year Old in Canada
Parents can sometimes have it rough. They try to raise their children right, and sometimes that means doling out punishments, and often those punishments are in the form of grounding the child. The grounding can mean different things. Perhaps they aren’t allowed to visit their friends, watch television, or play video games, for example. It’s part and parcel of being a parent, and of being a child. Most of the time, the courts aren’t going to get involved when a parent grounds a child. Most of the time.
Dad, Let’s Go to Court
Most children are respectful of their parents, and they would never dream of taking them to court. In fact, most probably wouldn’t even know how to begin. That wasn’t the case for a 12-year-old Canadian girl though. She was grounded by her father for getting on the Internet when she was supposed to stay off the web. He had tried to block websites she was using to chat, and said that she had posted inappropriate pictures of herself from a friend’s computer. He grounded her and forbade her from going on a school trip. That was when the girl decided she had put up with enough and she took her father to the Quebec Superior Court.
Her father’s attorney says that the measures taken, the grounding and keeping her off the Internet, were for her protection and safety. It’s hard to imagine that the court would even take the time to hear a case such as this, but they did. You might think that maybe they would try to teach the girl a lesson that when parents actually have good intentions, you need to respect their decisions for you. That’s not what happened though. The court actually overturned the grounding. The judge in the case, Justice Suzanne Tessier, found the punishment to be too harsh, even though the girl had a history of breaking the house rules.
This was certainly not the decision that Kim Beaudoin, the attorney for her father, was expecting. Naturally, the father’s attorney appealed the case. However, the court actually upheld the decision saying that the father did not have sufficient grounds to contest their decision. She was allowed to go on the school trip, and even though her father had custody at that time, she is now living with her mother. The case actually destroyed the father-daughter relationship, and it is likely to take a lot of time to repair, if it ever does get repaired.
When they refused to appeal the decision, the court said that “the case should not be seen as an open invitation for children to take legal action every time they’re grounded.” Of course, kids who learn about this case might just get a few ideas of their own when their parents threaten to ground them. This also makes many parents nervous when it comes to doling out punishment to their children. They want the best for their kids, but some parents might now have that fear of going to court for grounding their child in the back of their heads.