In May, the 12 year old girl who was living with her dad had a disagreement with her stepmother. As a result, the girl's dad forbid the girl to go on a three-day outing with her class. In order to avoid the punishment, the girl moved back into her mother's house and went on the class trip. The parents are divorced and the father had legal custody at the time the daughter moved back in with her mom. Quebec Superior Court Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier ruled the girl could attend the outing despite her father's wishes. Kim Beaudoin, the father's lawyer filed the appeal even though the girl has already gone on the trip because the judge's ruling raises unsettling questions for families. "It's dangerous to let kids play their parents. They have to learn to respect rules," Beaudoin said. Beaudoin seems to correctly argue that the judge had undermined the father's authority. Legal Pub thinks that Judges need to be cautious that their decisions do not take away appropriate punishments and facilitate one parent being allowed to say come live with me and you can avoid that punishment.
The other side of the coin is that in most jurisdictions including Quebec, even if a parent has legal custody, both parents retain parental authority. In other words custodial parents, "even if one parent has custody, the parents still have to make decisions jointly." This is a nearly universal law that too many custodial parents illegally ignore.
The girl's lawyer was Lucie Fortin. Ms. Fortin apparently feels this is an isolated ruling with no ramifications for others. Ms. Fortin, you miss the point. It has great presidential value for this child's future interaction with her father.
The second story about parent-child interaction takes place south of the Canadian border in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Fredrick McKaney, age 40, is accused of stabbing his mother with a fork and hitting another woman over the head with a frozen chicken. Mr. McKaney was arraigned in a Jackson courtroom on Thursday on two felony assault charges. The first count is for assault and battery and the second is for resisting an officer. So why did he apparently assault his own mom? According to the assistant prosecutor, Mark Blumer, "He stabbed his mother in the back of the neck when she refused to give him money, and then, an hour later, he attacked a neighbor woman with a chicken." (Ann Arbor news)
What do these two stories have in common? A total disrespect of a child (regardless of the age) for his parent.