(AFP) – Jun 18, 2008
OTTAWA (AFP) — A Canadian court has lifted a 12-year-old girl's grounding, overturning her father's punishment for disobeying his orders to stay off the Internet, his lawyer said Wednesday.
The girl had taken her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on websites he tried to block, and then posting "inappropriate" pictures of herself online using a friend's computer.
The father's lawyer Kim Beaudoin said the disciplinary measures were for the girl's "own protection" and is appealing the ruling.
"She's a child," Beaudoin told AFP. "At her age, children test their limits and it's up to their parents to set boundaries."
"I started an appeal of the decision today to reestablish parental authority, and to ensure that this case doesn't set a precedent," she said. Otherwise, said Beaudoin, "parents are going to be walking on egg shells from now on."
"I think most children respect their parents and would never go so far as to take them to court, but it's clear that some would and we have to ask ourselves how far this will go."
According to court documents, the girl's Internet transgression was just the latest in a string of broken house rules. Even so, Justice Suzanne Tessier found her punishment too severe.
Beaudoin noted the girl used a court-appointed lawyer in her parents' 10-year custody dispute to launch her landmark case against dear old dad.
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