A mother and father in Quebec disagreed as to whether their 12 year old should go on a school’s year-end trip. Mommy said yes, Daddy (who had legal custody) said no.
The extreme measure of taking the case to court, which the girl’s lawyer defended as a necessary move to ensure the child was not denied a significant rite of passage, was upheld by the judge in a surprise ruling last week.
“This was something that would never happen again in the child’s life,” said Lucie Fortin, the lawyer for the girl, who cannot be named.
“And for me that was really important, because it was the end of elementary school, it was the end of a stage in her life.”
WHAT? A school trip is a “significant rite of passage”? So “special” that it should usurp a parent’s privilege assent or denial?
The dispute between father and daughter began when he cut off her Internet access over her misuse. When she continued to find a way to use the Internet, he told his daughter she couldn’t go on the three-day school trip.
The girl’s mother allowed her to go on the trip, but because the school wouldn’t allow the girl to go unless both parents consented, the girl, with the mother’s support took legal action against her father.
According to Ms. Beaudoin, the judge ruled that denying the trip was unduly severe punishment. [emphasis mine - admin]
The kid sneaks to get around what appears to be a reasonable punishment; the father deems her to be too untrustworthy to go away for three days with many peers and the limited adult supervision that goes hand-in-hand with chaperoned school trips. And someone else wholly unconnected with the family gets to decide that his decision as a parent does not stand?
Look, whether the father was right or wrong in his decision, he made a judgment that in no way endangered this kid or subjected her to a cruelty beyond having to endure the word “no” and not getting exactly what she wanted. The repercussions of that “no” would have affected the dynamics of a family relationship, in either positive or negative ways, as these things tend to do in families. My own experience as both parent and child suggests that sometimes a stern “no” over something big manages to teach everyone a lesson, if they’re willing to learn it.
But the only lessons learned here are that a parent dare not deny his little darling anything, lest the court decide he’s been too harsh.
The father, who is appealing the decision, was “devastated” by the ruling, and is refusing to take his daughter back “because he has no authority over her.”
I don’t blame him. The child (and mostly her mother) have harmed that relationship much more than a no and a missed trip ever could have. They’ve emasculated the father and completely deconstructed notions of family matters, parental authority and discipline.
The Anchoress, wondering what's wrong with Canada - though it's well-known for it's long-term infatuation with extreme liberal nonsense - for Pajama's Media.