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Should Parents Track Students' Whereabouts in College?

A University of Cincinnati student recently won a restraining order against her parents after they tracked her every move.

Heading off to college is a chance for not only students to grow, but for their parents to adapt to life changes as well. But in some cases, the parents may not have such an easy time letting go.  

So has been the case with one college student that made national news recently. 

A 21-year-old music student at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music recently convinced a judge to grant her a restraining order against her parents, according to The Huffington Post

The student, Aubrey Ireland, reportedly told the court that even though she had made the dean's list, her parents would still drive 600 miles from Kansas to Ohio, making unannounced visits to her school, accusing her of drug use, promiscuity and mental illness. 

The issue deepened when her parents installed key-logging software on her computer and cell phone, allowing them to track her every move. 

As a result, the court and the school sided with Ireland; the university has granted her a full scholarship for her senior year, while the judge issued a civil stalking order against her parents, thus ordering them to stay at least 500 feet away from their daughter and have no contact with her until September. 

The news raises the issue of how much parents should "let go" of their children when they head off to college. But what do you think? Did her parents go too far? Or were they justified in trying to keep a close eye on their daughter? Let us know what you think in the comments section below. 

Michael Fleming January 10, 2013 at 07:25 PM
College is still not the "real world" in as much as it is a artificial environment, suffused with kids of similar age and similar goals, all working towards graduation at the end of their term. The college acts en loco parentus, setting rules of conduct and academics standards as well as a non threatening environment. If they don't do well, the worst that can happen to them is getting a bad grade, or being expelled, usually being sent back to their parents charge. In the real world, where adult standards are applied immediately, (pay rent, deal with bosses that don't have any vested interest in their doing well, you don't measure up, you get fired, do a job that you don't really want to do, etc.) many of these aspects overlap college life and real life, but college offers a soft place to land, whereas those going straight from High School, out of the home into the cold harsh world of reality, failing there can have far more significant and life course altering consequences.
Vineyard Worker January 13, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Congratulations to the kids who are successfully working and maneuvering in the world without an extended 4 year college/parentus safety net!
Michael Fleming January 13, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Vineyard Agreed. But I would extend that congratulations to all kids who successfully manage and maneuver in this world in this day and age. Whether they are lucky enough to have parents who can afford college or not. It's a difficult time and environment to grow up in. Whether college is part of that environment or not, kudos to those who can make it through safely to become productive, succesful contributing adults. There are factors out there that are actual disincentives to success...( entitlement culture now part of government policy, drugs, high unemployment rate, success is now seen as "greed", school loan debt, expensive dead end college degrees, such as "Womens Studies" or "Gender Studies" that have no real world application,) If they make it at all, you gotta give em credit, God Bless them...
Vineyard Worker January 13, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Equal congrats, everyone gets a trophy when according to your previous statements, one group had a network of safety net holders supporting them and the other group had adult standards and consequences applied immediately.
Michael Fleming January 13, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Vineyard I'm not sure what your point is. The purpose of being a parent is to provide as much of an advantage to your child succeeding in this world. If parents do well enough in life to give their child a choice between getting a college education and going to work right out of high school, then that is a GOOD thing, isn't it? Neither group is better than the other.vineyard, if you have a choice and ability, wouldn't YOU send your loved off spring to extend their education, thus increasing their ability to achieve success. I say good on ALL of our kids who make it, regardless of which path they end up on. Everyone gets a trophy? No. But the ones who avoids the many pitfalls of youth and still survive? Yeah, I give them an "atta boy"...high school education, safety net or not. They are our kids. We want the best chances for them. Are you saying that even if college IS an option for your kid, you would tell him/her not to take it? You'd PREFER that they go straight from high school into a low paying job? I don't believe that.

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