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Ontario, Canada--"When a 15-year-old girl sneaked out of the house for the umpteenth time to meet her drug-dealing boyfriend at a party, her father went after her in his truck. "He spotted her at a pay phone near their home outside Picton, Ont., and told her to get in. She refused, and he grabbed her by the shirt and shoved her into the truck. They headed home, but the girl took off again and made it to the party. The parents managed to get their daughter home later, but only after calling police for help. "The shirt-grabbing incident didn't end there. The father, who can't be named to protect his daughter's identity, was charged with assault, setting off a two-year legal battle that tested the limits of how far a parent can go to discipline a teen under the Criminal Code. "Judge Griffin...convicted the father on one assault charge."The conviction devastated him. It affected his business and left him humiliated in the small town. "'I held my head up and stuck by it and hoped for the best,' he said yesterday. "He appealed to the Ontario Superior Court. In a ruling made on March 13 and released yesterday, Madam Justice Cheryl Robertson overturned the conviction and ruled that Section 43 did apply to teenagers... "The judge noted the family's difficult history with the girl, their third child. She had been rebellious for years, and the parents had won a restraining order against the boyfriend, who had a history of drug abuse and violence. At one point, the parents found letters from the boyfriend instructing their daughter to 'kill the sluts when nobody is around,' the judge noted... "Crown attorney Hilary Whitmey said she has not decided whether to appeal the ruling. "The father hopes his legal saga has ended. His daughter, now 17, is back at home and things are going somewhat better, he said. When asked if he had any advice for parents facing similar problems, he replied: "'You got to do what you think is best for them. ... It's really tough, I'll tell you, it's really tough.'" Let's see, she's running away to be with her violent, drug dealer boyfriend and dad goes and grabs her and brings her back home. For this, he has spent the last several years trying to stay out of jail. Gives you a pretty good clue as to why we have so many screwed up kids. The father said it all--when you have kids, "You got to do what you think is best for them." The full story is Father knows best: Dad cleared of assaulting rebellious teen daughter (Globe & Mail, 4/1/08)--thanks to Jeremy Swanson for sending it.

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