By ARPA Canada (www.arpacanada.ca): In a very disturbing decision, a Quebec father has lost his appeal of a lower court ruling in which his own daughter successfully sued him because she didn’t like that he had grounded her. ARPA Canada had reported on the original case back in June of last year and encouraged our readers to respond with letters to the editor. The case involved a 12-year old girl, whose parents had split up and she was currently living with her father. She was caught posting inappropriate pictures of herself online so her dad grounded her. The punishment was that she was not allowed to go on an upcoming school trip, even though her mom had earlier given her permission.
The girl chose to sue her father. “The trip was very important to her” said the legal aid attorney who represented the girl, according to CBC news. Apparently the judge agreed and not only accepted the case but also ruled in her favour. Understandably, the father appealed the ruling.
Now a decision has been made by a higher court. The father’s appeal has not be granted because the court said the punishment was too severe. Kim Beaudoin is the father’s lawyer. She stated “Either way, he doesn’t have authority over this child anymore. She sued him because she doesn’t respect his rules. It’s very hard to raise a child who is the boss.” In the same CBC news story she also said “Is this what we want in our society? Laws are supposed to reflect our values. And if the courts aren’t reflecting that, maybe the government will, to prevent children from going this way.” There is a possibility that this case will go to the Supreme Court of Canada.
ARPA Comment and Action Item: When this story first came to our attention we wrote: “The Biblically-based political idea of sphere sovereignty holds that the church, the state, and the family occupy different spheres of authority. Parents are the authority figures in their homes and are responsible for raising their children in a good way. Of course the state has an interest in a healthy home. But it should not be extending its authority beyond that which it has been given by God. In our day and age, the state often seems to think that it is god and it alone knows what is best for all of society…. [This] story is especially strong in its disregard for the Firth Commandment ‘Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.'”
Given that it is the courts that have made this decision, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done from a political perspective in the short term. But we can draw public attention to it by writing letters to the editor. We can also use this as another reason why the state needs to reexamine the place and importance of the family in society by calling for a Royal Commission on the Family. Even more importantly, we have to pray for this case in particular and for parental authority in general.