Can Teens Sue their Parents?

Can they?…yes they can.

Wednesday is teen and parent news day and I wanted to take a moment to talk about this case:

MONTREAL, June 18 (UPI) — An appeal will be filed in a Montreal court after a Quebec judge overruled a father who grounded his 12-year-old daughter for dangerous Internet use.

“The lawyer for the father, who can’t be identified to protect the girl, told The Gazette newspaper that Justice Suzanne Tessier overstepped the court’s bounds last Friday when she ruled in favor of the girl’s legal challenge and said she would be allowed to go on a school trip her father had forbidden because of misbehavior.

“I don’t think this tribunal was the proper forum for a decision like this one,” lawyer Kim Beaudoin said. “If we don’t learn at the age of 12 there are rules to follow, when do we?”

He said he was preparing an appeal based on the fact the judge acknowledged the girl’s repeated defiance of her father’s house rules.

They included bypassing security settings to block Web sites the father didn’t trust, then using a friend’s computer to access those sites. Beaudoin said the girl also posted online photos of herself “inappropriate for a child her age,” the report said”

This girl brought a parenting case to court.  She did not agree with her dad’s rule and brought him to court…to court! I think this is outrageous and strangely liberating all at the same time.

On the one hand, the mature-23-year-old part of me (I try to be at least) is outraged that a parent’s judgement would be challenged.  On the other hand, the still-living-at-home-23-year-old part of me is thinking power to the youth!

Boy oh boy, there were times when my parents made rules “just because” or “because I said so” that I wish I could have taken them to court! Thoughts?

I am going to be posting this with Amy Jussel’s parent opinion of Shaping Youth (where I am on the board) about how marketers affect youth today.  Stay tuned, add your comments below.

4 thoughts on “Can Teens Sue their Parents?”

  1. About the 12 yr. old who sued her parent… SCARY. I think parents rights to ground their child shouldn’t be overruled by a judge! Give me a break. Sure, all kids’ legal rights should be protected … protected from abuse, criminal behavior,…but from being grounded? Hmmmm. I think we are missing some info in this media account. Sounds bizarre.

  2. Hi Vanessa, I’ll post my reply next Wednesday for you to pick up as a guest editorial, for I agree with A1Mama above that it seems like there’s some vital ‘media backstory’ glossed over somehow…but then again, in this child-centric society of kids’ rights, maybe not?

    Regardless, kids’ legal rights are a huge issue and the media portrayal in a reality show world of dirt-digging can unhinge many a parent if this kind of precedent takes off…It has broad-reaching implications in terms of societal norms and retaliatory ‘strikes’ when parents can be put on trial for parenting…

    For example, remember the news story about the child ‘crying wolf’ on ‘abuse’ because she didn’t get her way, only to later confess it was a lie and an angry moment backlash? It had already accelerated into a child protective services mess, state intervention, media trashing of a parent’s reputation and landed his backside in jail.

    We need to be able to trust our legal system (and our KIDS!) to have a functional society sans trial by sensational journalism, so needless to say, I feel there’s potential for a disturbing precedent on blurred boundaries here.

    More next week when I put my investigative journalism hat on and dig a bit deeper. Welcome to the Shaping Youth Advisory Board…your voice is a fun, fresh addition to the mix!

  3. Wow. Unbelievable. So let’s see…spanking has been out for a while, because even a little swat on the backside can be construed as child abuse. Now good old-fashioned grounding can be challenged, too? I say, if the legal system plans to take over the job of parenting, they also have to take over responsibility for outcome. How often do you hear about parents being held accountable for their teen’s actions…yet how are they supposed to control their teens when all of their parenting options are taken away? Scary.

  4. honestly ive been hit a lot by my parents when i was a kid, do I regret it? hell no cuz every gen of my family did it to the next and im one of the strongest guys i know (emotionally)

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