In a decision that has sent shock waves through the Canadian grade-school community, a court in Quebec has ruled that a father improperly grounded his 12-year-old daughter, preventing her from going on a school field trip.
Coming next: Motion to Not Have to Do This Stupid Homework for Math, Which Movant Will Totally Never Even Use Anyway.
According to the report, the girl's parents are divorced, but the father has custody. He and the girl had apparently clashed when he told her she could not use the Internet any more because she had posted pictures of her (12-year-old) self on a dating site. She seems then to have picked a fight with her stepmother, resulting in the grounding. The father's lawyer told CBC News that the girl had then "smacked the door, left and went to live with her mother."
A few days later, the father opened his mail to find a motion by the child's attorney (apparently the equivalent of a guardian ad litem in the United States) asking the court to overturn the punishment. It did so two days later.
The report quoted a Quebec family-law practitioner as saying that it is not uncommon there for a child in a "high-conflict situation between two parents" to have an attorney appointed for him or her, and that there is "joint parental authority" even if one parent has custody. Disputes between the parents about discipline may therefore end up in court.
It doesn't appear, however, that a grounding has ever been reversed in this way. The father's lawyer said it was the first such case she had heard of, but that she did not think it would lead to a flood of copycat lawsuits. Maybe not, but I'm thinking a certain 12-year-old will be getting exactly what she wants for Christmas, or else.
Link: CBC News (Canada)