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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My child sued me for grounding her. I guess she’s always right.

Adults in “La Belle Province” have another reason for not having children. Apparently in Quebec, children have the right to sue their parents if they don’t agree with their punishment. In the case of one Quebec father, he’s living this nightmare right now. He did not abuse his child. He simply didn’t grant her permission to go on a field trip after she disobeyed his orders to stop posting inappropriate pictures of herself on internet websites that he had blocked. The twelve year old girl, with the help of her legal aid attorney, sued the father in court. The father appealed the court decision in Quebec Superior Court—and lost. This kind of court ruling brings us to question the credibility of our justice system. Furthermore, the ruling also highlights the fact that our justice system does not encourage proper family values.

When I was a youngster, there was one consequence of disobeying my parents. This involved an ancient form of punishment known as The Spanking. It was either done by hand, belt, a slipper, a wooden spoon. In fact, it was enforced with anything that was within my parent’s reach on the spur of the moment. Spanking taught one thing to children: there’s a consequence for wrongdoing. I’ll be the first to admit that just the threat of getting hit with a belt was enough to keep me in line. Don't be alarmed, I wasn't abused. Unfortunately today, Quebec has passed a law that prohibits physical form of punishment. The result, I see more children disrespecting their parents and others in public. That is something that never would have happened in my day. Then again, the government feels that they can govern how parents raise their own children, even when the children exercise poor judgment. After all, the child is always right.

In the case of this father—who’s separated from the mother and had custody of his daughter on certain days, he was exercising his moral duty as a parent. One would not expect to use the same punishment methods on a twelve-year-old girl as they would with a five-year-old. However, he warned her that he would not allow her to participate in a field trip if she did not keep away from websites that he blocked. Not only did she disobey him, he alleged that she posted inappropriate pictures of herself online. The father followed through with his warning and withheld his written permission for the trip. The school was then forced not to allow her to go on the field trip in June 2008. To his surprise—and to the shock and awe of many parents and non-parents, she sued him. But it shouldn’t be a surprise in this province. After all, the child is always right.

Readers who live outside of Quebec will have a good laugh, and rightfully so because the judge’s ruling was asinine. This sends the message that in this province, parents have little control over how they raise their children. We live in a society where police are actively patrolling the internet to stop child predators. This father was doing his part to protect his daughter from them. Yet the judge ruled that he’s at fault. After all, the child is always right.

I don’t have any children and I am in no way discouraging Quebecers from having children. I just hope that Quebec judges, lawyers, and even the politicians that create these laws try to discipline their own children. They’ll learn quickly that their children are always right.


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