Friday, April 10, 2009
6th Grader Sues Her Father & Wins
Most kids complain bitterly when they are grounded. Some will sneak out, while others will settle for slamming doors and announcing that they hate the person making the rules. But sometimes, kids get creative when they're punished: A 6th grader in Quebec sued her dad because she felt that his punishment was too harsh.
The 12-year-old girl's parents are divorced; in the spring of 2008, the girl's mom gave her permission to go on a class trip to Quebec City in June. But the middle-schooler lived with her father, and after she disobeyed daddy's orders to stay off the Internet, he told her she couldn't go. So what did she do? She took him to court. Of course.
A lower court ruled in favor of the girl, who went on the embattled class trip. Her father appealed -- on principle - -and amazingly, the girl won again. The father's attorney, Kim Beaudoin, says that her client is "flabbergasted" and they are considering another appeal, this time to Canada's Supreme Court. But, the attorney adds, the father has no regrets about the court proceedings. "Either way, he doesn't have authority over this child anymore. She sued him because she doesn't respect his rules," Beaudoin said. "It's very hard to raise a child who is the boss."
Now, I don't know a lot about the law, but I watch enough "Law & Order" to know that one thing that counts in the legal world is precedent. CBC News says that "the appeal court warned [that] the case should not be seen as an open invitation for children to take legal action every time they're grounded." But here's thing: If you don't want someone to consider using your ruling in other cases, maybe you shouldn't make the ruling. And what could the judge's reasoning possibly have been? Lucie Fortin, the Legal Aid lawyer who helped the girl take her pops to court, said that "The trip was very important" to the daughter. How is that a legal argument? Don't parents have the right to punish their children? (This is like making Consensual Living a legal requirement.)
Sadly, the case has destroyed the relationship between the girl and her father. "We went from a child who wanted to live with her father, and after all this has been done, they're not speaking anymore." The father's attorney adds, "We have a lot of work to re-establish a link between those two."
What is happening with our children ? I noticed an influx of 911 calls from children on their parents. One call I responded to was a kid was scared to tell his dad that he didn't get good grades on his report card and he said his dad might hit him. I couldn't believe this he was 10 yrs old and calling the police on his parents . Unfortunately there are so many more cases like this these kids think they can do anything they want and there should be no punishment for it