DM Blog

Parental Discipline Overruled


From The Globe & Mail:

First, the father banned his 12-year-old daughter from going online after she posted photos of herself on a dating site. Then she allegedly had a row with her stepmother, so the father said his girl couldn’t go on a school trip.

The girl took the matter to the court – and won what lawyers say was an unprecedented judgment.

Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier of the Quebec Superior Court ruled on Friday that the father couldn’t discipline his daughter by barring her from the school trip.


Even though the school trip is now over, the father is appealing the ruling because his moral authority over his child had been undercut by the court, said his lawyer, Kim Beaudoin. "He is stunned by this situation. He feels like he’s lost his daughter," Ms. Beaudoin said in an interview.

"My client wants to appeal so no other parents will live through the same thing."

If you read the whole article, you’ll find out that the girl had a history of being defiant – when her father banned her from going on the internet, she went to friends’ houses to go online. But nevertheless, the judge decided that her Dad doesn’t know best, sided with the 12 year old girl and overruled her discipline. I can’t believe what a stupid decision the judge has made on this. What does this teach the girl? (And how ridiculous is it that our courts’ time is being used to intervene on family matters?) Hm.

Here’s an excerpt from one of the more than 300 reader comments on this article:

[…] The father acted within his legal rights to discipline a minor child who he has custodial rights to care for.

The punishment did not involve a criminal code offense of assault or reckless endangerment etc., and it did not pose any immediate threat to her life. As such, the court had no jursidiction to intervene in this matter.

As for whether the punishment itself was equitable, fair or excessive – again this is irrelevant as the court has no jursidiction to rule on this unless the action involves a criminal code offense or poses a threat to the child’s life.

This judge should be removed from the bench and asked to rewrite the bar exam before being allowed to return to private practice.