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Quebec girl goes on class trip after taking father to court

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Old June 20th 08, 04:10 PM posted to alt.parenting.spanking,alt.support.child-protective-services
Ivan Gowch
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Default Quebec girl goes on class trip after taking father to court

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Quebec girl goes on class trip after taking father to court

Thu Jun 19, 6:22 PM ET

By Matt Reeder
TORONTO (Reuters) - A Quebec father has decided to appeal a decision
by a judge who ruled he had no right to stop his 12-year-old daughter
from going on a school trip, even though the girl has already gone on
the outing.

The dispute began in May when the girl had a disagreement with her
stepmother. That prompted the father to forbid the girl to go on a
three-day outing with her classmates to celebrate their last year in
elementary school. The girl then moved to her mother's house.

The parents, who live in the Gatineau region of Quebec, are divorced,
and the father has legal custody.

Last week, Quebec Superior Court Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier ruled
the girl could attend the outing despite her father's wishes. She went
on the trip this week.

Kim Beaudoin, a lawyer handling the father's case, said 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 in an interview on Thursday.

Beaudoin said her client feels the judge had undermined his authority
over his daughter.

"He doesn't think a judge should be allowed to take away a
punishment," she said. "And he doesn't think another parent should be
allowed to say 'Well, come live at my house, and you won't have to
live that punishment."'

Miriam Grassby, a family law attorney in Montreal, said it's not that

"In Quebec, even if a parent has legal custody, both parents retain
parental authority," she said. "If one parent has custody, the parents
still have to make the decisions jointly."

The girl's lawyer, Lucie Fortin, maintained on Thursday that she
exhausted all other avenues - including negotiating with Ms. Beaudoin
- before presenting the petition to the court.

"This trip will not be possible next year," said Ms. Fortin. "It's the
end of elementary school. It'll never come back. It's once in her

She also said it is an isolated case, and disagreed that the ruling
would open the door for other children to rush to court whenever
parents try to punish them.

"It's very, very rare," she said, adding that she finally decided to
present the petition to the court last Friday because the girl's trip
was planned for Monday

Ms. Beaudoin is preparing to file a formal appeal.

** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **

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