TELL US: 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 2013. 

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. 

BH January 07, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Is this a real question? Most are 18 and adults, this is illegal, end of story.
Paul Lasiewski January 07, 2013 at 04:57 PM
I don't know how illegal it is, but I agree.
Avon Barksdale January 07, 2013 at 05:04 PM
"have no contact with her until 2013" So, they can't contact her until last Tuesday. Got it.
paul January 07, 2013 at 05:37 PM
If you are tracking anyone over 18 years old, you are a stalker.
parkst January 07, 2013 at 06:01 PM
gimme a break. Good for the kid for going to the law and putting a stop to her parents' insanity.
Andrew January 07, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Everyone's got to leave their moms basement sometime.
deb of see-attleboro January 07, 2013 at 08:42 PM
I agree the parents need to move on. However, many states have laws which require parents to pay child support for adult children who are well into their twenties.
yerkillinme January 07, 2013 at 09:12 PM
For every person here posting how the kid should be left alone I can show you five parents of 20 & even 30 year olds who call my office to do business on their kid's behalf. I'll take their business however it makes me shake my head when parents transact business for their kids in their twenties (and older) and to top it off, they usually bitch about having to do so.
Matt Perkins (Editor) January 07, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Thanks for pointing that out - just fixed; it is September 2013.
Chris A January 08, 2013 at 01:47 AM
Thank god for Avon.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) January 08, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Deb, I am admittedly not well-versed on this subject. What states have these laws? I'd like to learn more about this subject.
Avon Barksdale January 08, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Finally, something we all can agree on.
paul January 08, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Jonathan, Massachusetts for one. Ask any guy that has gone through divorce with children. Massachusetts is stuck in colonial times and guys are punished when a couple breaks up. A divorce decree can say child support will continue through college (which mine does) or until 21 years old. But of course, some guys pay nothing and we have to pay for them as well. All that aside, I would not track my child.
deb of see-attleboro January 08, 2013 at 01:10 PM
I probably should not have said "many" and I am likely guilty of overgeneralizing. I do know that Massachusetts judges can order child support to continue if the adult child is enrolled in higher education. I think courts in Massachusetts have much flexibility regarding adult children. I seem to recall reading of a custodial parent who received support for a disabled adult child. Not sure if this was MA though. However, I think if you divorce in RI, non-custodial parents are off the hook at 18. Not sure if a not-custodial parent can be ordered to pay tuition, though. Admittedly, I am well passed the age of being all that concerned with parental rights. Or should I say, my kids are well passed being interested in anything I've got to say. So thanks for asking:) So the moral of the story is before consider filing for divorce, choose your residence wisely!
deb of see-attleboro January 08, 2013 at 01:33 PM
In all seriousness though, if I were to consider starting a family today, I would think long and hard. As this country progresses, it seems parental rights have eroded. They can be held financially responsible while the kids are free to be unaccountable to them. These parents may be the ultimate helicopter parents and likely deserve what they get. But with the direction this country is headed, I can only guess what the next generation of parents will have to deal with. Perhaps a mandate to pay tuition? The Affordable Heathcare Act could be just the beginning.
Amy January 08, 2013 at 01:47 PM
So who's paying for her computer and cellphone? Who paid her dorm and past tuition? If it's her parents then stop paying! Who's paying her health insurance? If it's the parents, let her go on Obamacare until she's 26. Maybe she'll have to get a ......gasp!!! Job! Then with the money saved I suggest the parents go on a nice vacation and relax will their own hard earned money.
Mary January 08, 2013 at 02:44 PM
these parents are the ones with a mental illness. I wonder if this was a joint venture, or if one parent was the driving force. Sad for all concerned because a family relationship has been badly damaged. I am however sending this story to my 30 year old daughter so she will see what a wonderful parent I am ;>)
Fiscal Conservative January 08, 2013 at 07:34 PM
If she wants total freedom from her parents, which she is entitled to, she should also assume the responsiblity for her college expenses. Far too many, whether right or wrong, want everything their way, regardless of fairness to those invovled. Life isn't fair, might as well learn it now. She is 21, parents can remove many things that they provide for her (health insurance, car insurance, whatever). If this student wants emancipation I hope she wants the financial burden that comes with it. No matter what, the relationship is strained and needs a lot of serious work, by both sides, if it is ever going to be healed.
Avon Barksdale January 08, 2013 at 08:24 PM
The college has awarded her a full scholarship, so maybe you can climb down off your soapbox and get on the reading box instead.
Indiana January 08, 2013 at 10:28 PM
I just hope the young lady is getting free contraception
Fiscal Conservative January 08, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Scholarship doesn't cover all expenses she will need to get by. Does she have any means to support herself? This court order may force her to take on expenses she did not forsee and may not be able to provide for herself. By obtaining this order, its possible that provisions parents normally assume will be removed. Anyway, her life will commence to change, maybe not the way she had planned. Freedom that she wants comes with certain consequences. Hope she is prepared to face the real world. The world I think you percieve, is one of recieving off the efforts of others. That isn't my world, not one I would like to live in. I'm too old and set in my ways to change to a society 2 - 3 generations removed from the one I grew in. Bottom line is this family faces some tough moments in the future. Hopefully, issues can be resolved in a positive way for the sake of all.
Avon Barksdale January 09, 2013 at 04:23 AM
Yes, the world I see is one of receiving ofrf the efforts of others. You are a brilliant deconstructor, I see your point.
Kelly January 09, 2013 at 01:37 PM
I am not sure why everyone is talking about this students financial position after alienating her parents through legal means. She probably discussed the situation with people in the highest levels of the schools administration. Because of her excellent grades and the possibility of her parents withdrawing their financial support, the school offered her the scholarship. She probably wouldn't have filed this restraining order if they did not offer her the full scholarship. Tuition, and living expenses will be paid for now. She can get a job, or a student loan to provide spending money and whatever else she needs while she is a student, no big deal. I know plenty of people who have done it. Now about her parents requirement to support her, there is none. I am a second wife who has a husband paying child support in Massachusetts so I know how it goes. It looks like her parents are married, and married parents have absolutely no legal obligation to support their children financially once they leave the home. However, if the parents are divorced, then the non custodial parent (usually the father) has to pay child support up until a certain age if that child is in school. In Massachusetts, the age is 23. It makes absolutely no sense, but there you have it.
Indiana January 09, 2013 at 01:45 PM
At least she gets her senior year free...seriously these parents are lunatics! Obviously this must have bee n going on in some fashion her whole child hood and teens - graduate with honors and go on your own and best of luck


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