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Dad grounds daughter, but court ungrounds her

A father in Canada grounded his daughter from a school trip because she disobeyed his orders to stay off the Internet, but a court overturned the punishment.

According to Agence France-Presse, Justice Suzanne Tessier in Quebec Superior Court ordered the grounding for the 12-year-old girl lifted, prompting the father’s lawyer, Kim Beaudoin, to warn, “Parents are going to be walking on egg shells from now on.”

The father had ordered his daughter, who was not identified by the report, to remain off the Internet. She didn’t, chatting on websites her father had tried to block and then posting “inappropriate” pictures of herself online using a friend’s Internet portal.

As punishment, the father refused to let her go on a scheduled school trip, so the 12-year-old went to Canada’s judicial system to get her way.

Beaudoin told AFP the punishment was for her own protection, and he is pursuing an appeal.

“She’s a child,” Beaudoin said. “At her age, children test their limits and it’s up to their parents to set boundaries.”

The lawyer said she’ll try to “re-establish” parental authority and to make sure the judge’s opinion doesn’t set a precedent.

“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,” Beaudoin said.

Court records indicated the 12-year-old’s violation of her home’s Internet rules was just one in a list of instructions that she had violated. But Tessier said the punishment was just too much.

The girl reportedly had access to the courts using a court-appointed attorney who represented her in her parents’ custody dispute.

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