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Rev_DelFuego
From the Houston Chronicle:

QUOTE
Striking a blow for rebellious teenagers, the Washington Supreme Court ruled today that state law prohibits parents from eavesdropping on a child's phone conversations.


Question for debate:
Do children have a right to total privacy or is it at their parents discretion?
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SuzySteamboat
QUOTE(Rev_DelFuego @ Dec 10 2004, 01:32 AM)
From the Houston Chronicle:

QUOTE
Striking a blow for rebellious teenagers, the Washington Supreme Court ruled today that state law prohibits parents from eavesdropping on a child's phone conversations.


Question for debate:
Do children have a right to total privacy or is it at their parents discretion?
*




The ruling did not say that children have a right to total privacy, all it did was reinforce previous rulings that you can't "intercept or record conversations without the consent of all participants." That said, it's still absurd. If you live with your parents and they're paying the mortgage, food costs, gas bills and everything else, then no, you don't have a right to privacy. You are living in their house. They can do whatever the hell they want to with the things you use if they're paying for it - like cell phones, cars, and other things that teenagers claim as theirs but usually their parents are the ones with the financial responsibility. This ruling is silly. I would hope that parents would still give their kids a reasonable expectation of privacy - and not eavesdropping on phone conversations is among that - but it's wrong for the government to forcibly decide what should be a parent-controlled situation.
overlandsailor
QUOTE(Rev_DelFuego @ Dec 10 2004, 01:32 AM)
From the Houston Chronicle:

QUOTE
Striking a blow for rebellious teenagers, the Washington Supreme Court ruled today that state law prohibits parents from eavesdropping on a child's phone conversations.


Question for debate:
Do children have a right to total privacy or is it at their parents discretion?
*




QUOTE(SuzySteamboat @ Dec 10 2004, 05:15 AM)
The ruling did not say that children have a right to total privacy, all it did was reinforce previous rulings that you can't "intercept or record conversations without the consent of all participants." That said, it's still absurd.


Just for clarification, this depends on what state you are in. Many states are "One Party Consent" states. Meaning that so long as one party in the conversation consents to it being recorded, the recording is legal.

For example, if you and I are talking on the phone and I choose to record the conversation, without informing you, then that would be perfectly legal so long as I was in a one party consent state.

This doesn't really apply to this case as it was the parents doing the listening / recording, and they were not in the conversation. However,

QUOTE
If you live with your parents and they're paying the mortgage, food costs, gas bills and everything else, then no, you don't have a right to privacy.  You are living in their house. 
*



Taking this good point into consideration, perhaps the legal approach to this should be that the owner of the phone is considered part of one of the parties and thus could listen / record legally. It's a stretch, but it is possible.

OK, so kids have rights to privacy now? OK fine. When my daughter is old enough to use the phone she will either sign a waiver of said rights or she simply will not be allowed to use the phone. They still make phones with key locks on them.

QUOTE
but it's wrong for the government to forcibly decide what should be a parent-controlled situation.


Good point. But then, this is part of the problem of the day. We continue to erode the rights of parents and then complain when the child are out of control. wacko.gif

Another legal point here. Children do not have the right to enter into a legal contract without parent consent. So, why can a parent not require a waiver of "privacy" before giving this consent?

Futhermore, why is it OK to search kids lockers without the consent of the child? This is because the lockers belong to the school and the school is responsible for the welfare of the children. Or so the legal decisions in some states go.

QUOTE
In some states, courts have ruled that a student’s locker is school property, so the school can search it. But in other states, school officials must have “reasonable suspicion” that you are hiding something illegal before they can search your locker.  Your local ACLU can fill you in on your state laws. But here’s a word to the wise: don’t keep anything in your locker that you wouldn’t want other people to see
source

The US Supreme Court has a long history of upholding parental rights to raise their children as they choose.

QUOTE
The U.S. Supreme Court cited a long history of their decisions upholding parental rights as fundamental.

QUOTE
The liberty interest at issue in this case--the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children--is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court. More than 75 years ago, in Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399, 401, 67 L. Ed. 1042, 43 S. Ct. 625 (1923), we held that the "liberty" protected by the Due Process Clause includes the right of parents to "establish a home and bring up children" and "to control the education of their own." Two years later, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-535, 69 L. Ed. 1070, 45 S. Ct. 571 (1925), we again held that the "liberty of parents and guardians" includes the right "to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control." We explained in Pierce that "the child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations." 268 U.S. at 535. We returned to the subject in Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 88 L. Ed. 645, 64 S. Ct. 438 (1944), and again confirmed that there is a constitutional dimension to the right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children. "It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder." 321 U.S. at 166.


QUOTE
In subsequent cases also, we have recognized the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children. See, e.g., Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651, 31 L. Ed. 2d 551, 92 S. Ct. 1208 (1972) ("It is plain that the interest of a parent in the companionship, care, custody, and management of his or her children 'comes to this Court with a momentum for respect lacking when appeal is made to liberties which derive merely from shifting economic arrangements'" (citation omitted)); Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 232, 32 L. Ed. 2d 15, 92 S. Ct. 1526 (1972) ("The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition"); Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246, 255, 54 L. Ed. 2d 511, 98 S. Ct. 549 (1978) ("We have recognized on numerous occasions that the relationship between parent and child is constitutionally protected"); Parham v. J. R., 442 U.S. 584, 602, 61 L. Ed. 2d 101, 99 S. Ct. 2493 (1979) ("Our jurisprudence historically has reflected Western civilization concepts of the family as a unit with broad parental authority over minor children. Our cases have consistently followed that course"); Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 753, 71 L. Ed. 2d 599, 102 S. Ct. 1388 (1982) (discussing "the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child"); Glucksberg, supra, at 720 ("In a long line of cases, we have held that, in addition to the specific freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights, the 'liberty' specially protected by the Due Process Clause includes the right ... to direct the education and upbringing of one's children" (citing Meyer and Pierce)). In light of this extensive precedent, it cannot now be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.
(emphasis mine) Source (much more great info here)

At issue here is the conflict of a childs right to privacy vs. a parents right to control the childs upbringing. I believe this case would be overturned by the US Supreme Court if it was brought to them and they chose to hear it.
Artemise
To me its absolutely absurd. On one hand, parents are continually at fault for not being privy to what their kids are doing (ie: Columbine), on the other hand the little monsters are given rights of adults, by the court not to be supervised in the family home. The mother was right to listen in, and good thing she did.

QUOTE
The court ruled that the daughter and her boyfriend had a reasonable expectation of privacy on the phone.


Since when?! In my opinion there is privacy-such as respect when you are dressing and reasonable bathroom expectations, and maybe to your personal journal-to a point-and there is privacy as in-as a teenager you earn trust.

Families are being victimized by this 'children have undue "rights" of late'. You cant give your child a well deserved smack on the bottom, or search their room when you suspect something untoward going on.

Lets get real here...the best children come from vigilant parents, the ones who catch you doing anything outside the family value system. Maybe we hated ours when they asked us for accountability, to earn trust, thought our parents backward, behind the times, invasive, and controlling....but its those parents most well loved in adulthood who stayed on the path and never wavered.

I think the court is wrong. Until 18 , when you move out because you already know everything, you are a slave to your parents will and you have NO REAL PRIVACY, as it should be, right or wrong, for better or worse, because teenagers are for the most part a danger to themselves, and subject to this society that can easily turn them, hurt them for a long time, or lose them in death.

I think its time for a parental rebellion. As liberal as I am I am adament about this. We need to stop having children wrap adults around fear of persecution of 'bad parenting' because they are strict. Its creating a lack of respect for ones elders that is unprecedented and ultimately detrimental to both youth and elder.
We have lowered the expectations of our youth to nil. Everyone needs a job in life and a teenagers job is to meet their parents expectations, try to get out of them, and not be allowed to.
droop224
Wow...let's propagate the myth of overzealous judges and their crazy rulings again. Let's throw the spin out there "Parents are not allowed to eavesdrop" and again convince the masses it is the Judges losing their minds.

You guys are focusing on the wrong thing here. Take a second and read between the lines in the story. This happened at the Washington Supreme Court. Which means it is an appellate case. The story says there will be a new trial...huh?? That means there was a conviction. A conviction... a conviction of what, who? You see where I am going.

If I want to listen in on my kids and then ground them.... what are they going to do?? However, if I listen in on a call, take notes, then give those notes to police, who then use it and my testimony as evidence in a case.... I just entered a whole new ball park. A judge may have made an unpopular decision, and the media is sure to spin it that way, but it was the right decision. A prosecutor knows what an illegal tap is. It has nothing to do with age. That mom served as an illegal tap, you can't use it as evidence in a case!! She(the Mom) can use it to say "Don't go see that bag-snatching boyfriend , again" But for legal matter it is tainted evidence because it was gathered illegally. Instead of focusing on the idiot judges, maybe we should start focusing on idiot prosecutors.
Eeyore
QUOTE(droop224 @ Dec 10 2004, 09:30 AM)
If I want to listen in on my kids and then ground them.... what are they going to do?? However, if I listen in on a call, take notes, then give those notes to police, who then use it and my testimony as evidence in a case.... I just entered a whole new ball park.
*



I think Droop has hit the nail on the head here. It is a great headline that makes it appear parents are losing their right to parent here. The right to privacy is in relation to the enforcement of a state law in terms of a criminal proceeding. This is not a ruling against a parent's ability to listen in on their children's phone calls. They just can't use the Washington criminal justice system to administer a punishment if they choose to go this route.

I see no evidence of any attempt to punish or admonish the parent for this behavior.
Artemise
Sorry I dont buy it. If that were the case they could dismiss on simple hearsay. The article claims:
QUOTE
The court ruled that the daughter and her boyfriend had a reasonable expectation of privacy on the phone.


This is (IMO) not valid for a teenager on a home phone, paid for by a parent. I did question the hearsay part of it, since any parent could claim, I heard him say it, and this could be false.

It seems to me it did not need to go this way, the mothers testimony could have been thrown out as hearsay, not gone down as : the daughter and her boyfriend had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Not.
nileriver
At what point does the constitution recognize a human in america to be an american citizen thus getting such rights that america recognizes. I know that the ruling does sound silly, and i wish it had been around for me mrsparkle.gif but what have you. The real test of is it legit for the judge to pass, i mean does it fall in line with the constitution. Remember, a whole thrust of the new administration is to rule from the constitution, even in light of the patriot act. Do i think this may have political motivation at hand? well maybe aids was made by stan lee, but just maybe it does. the opposite end is what kind of pandoras box this may be actually. Overall i cant decide if i agree with it or not, being the only experience i have is wishing it was around when i was that age, i dent have any children of my own at this point in time, so again i cant decide if i would or would not support such. In the grey areas of life, i am sure many real world examples can be applied as grounds to support or detract from such a ruling. I do know that such cases can be applied as bench marks for other legal dealings, in light of that great relativity or ignorance thing i talk about much.

I would opt that we should keep it, i really do overall. I know that it sounds funny, but i have to go with all the stuff we do to kids which become people, all the stuff they have to go through and or all the loops in life for them to jump through. If not overall the fact they for the most part are thought of as subjects to the parents really, and at the discretion of such logic or perception they may have. I mean you dont leave children in an abusive home, and we have laws agains child labor, and we generally try to create a education that is free of head games for them. We have a society that one could label complex, that i doubt any one single person to be able to dictate in some perfect or true form understanding of such, and many other things. So in light of that, i would overall have to agree with the law. I as a kid could have been labeled a rebel, but i still posses nothing of a criminal record, and overall have giving up a good amount of success in relation to society knowing what i was doing because i knew its not what i wanted as a person in a free society really. Now i am using my liberty still of course. I dont see any difference in this. They are people free in a society that praises itself for such even if we subject people all the time as second class really. The logic against is i pay for it so you are my slave at my discretion, i guess if we rule like that, it could also be applied in many areas, maybe a parent then could have the kid labor for money for its joy, or so on. I think that they are people and not subjects and or products, and that this ruling is sound. I mean the ruling states that you cannot spy on your kinds basically via certain means. I think it would have sucked to have a video camera in my room as a child, i dont know about you, or to have my phone bugged or so on. Its not saying you cannot parent your child, unless you think that you need to spy on every action in order to parent, do you follow it to the bathroom and look over it shoulders, well if not it could be reading a book on satan and smoking dope then or looking at pics of naked people or something else.
Eeyore
QUOTE(Artemise @ Dec 10 2004, 10:47 AM)
It seems to me it did not need to go this way, the mothers testimony could have been thrown out as hearsay
*



Attitudinal NOT aside

If a person hears someone say that they committed a crime would that be considered hearsay or a confession? I don't think hearing a direct conversation from the person who claims to commit a crime is considered to be hearsay.

QUOTE
hearsay rule
n. the basic rule that testimony or documents which quote persons not in court are not admissible. Because the person who supposedly knew the facts is not in court to state his/her exact words, the trier of fact cannot judge the demeanor and credibility of the alleged first-hand witness, and the other party's lawyer cannot cross-examine (ask questions of) him or her.

hearsay rule
logophage
QUOTE(Artemise @ Dec 10 2004, 04:56 AM)
I think the court is wrong. Until 18 , when you move out because you already know everything, you are a slave to your parents will and you have NO REAL PRIVACY, as it should be, right or wrong, for better or worse, because teenagers are for the most part a danger to themselves, and subject to this society that can easily turn them, hurt them for a long time, or lose them in death.

Problems with this proposal:

1. What happens, if after 18, you move back into your parent's house? They still maintain the financials (such as phones); do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy then? If so, is the only difference because of age?

2. What happens, if while under 18, your child is at some other parent's house who eavesdrops on your child's conversation? Is this a reasonable violation of privacy?

3. What happens, if while under 18, your child is at a family members house (say an older sibling) who eavesdrops on you child's conversation? Is this okay?

4. What happens, if while under 18, your child calls you from someone's house and that someone eavesdrops on your conversation? Is this okay?

I could probably think of more but this is a good place to start.
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Hobbes
Do children have a right to total privacy or is it at their parents discretion?

I find this issue very similar to the one concerning use of computers and email in the workplace. The courts have consistently ruled, as they should, that those devices are there for company sponsored activities, and that any data on them or email sent from them is capable of being searched at the whim of the company. I don't see how the phone, being paid for by the 'corporate sponsor'--the parents, would be any different.

I don't really see how having your kids sign any waivers would hold up in court if it ever came to that. How difficult would it be to convince people that was signed under coercion, either real or implied?

This is a classic example of why I am against legal infringements on parental roles and responsibilities to begin with. There are already laws against anything truly egregious. We don't need any other laws limiting parents, unless, as several here have already pointed out, we are not also willing to then deal with hordes of undisciplined children. In this case, it seems other laws were indeed broken. So, I have no problem with the way this case went..as long as it doesn't create any further legislation aimed more directly at parents.
LFTHNDTHRDS
QUOTE
Do children have a right to total privacy or is it at their parents discretion?


I am unsure. What happens now in the State of Washington if Suzie's mom looks in her desk drawer and finds a joint? In my opinion, that would be responsible parenting. However, to the State of Washington, that would be illegal search and seizure. Would Suzie's mom have to show probable cause? Since Suzie is now afforded civil rights according to Washington, she couldn't be prosecuted because she now has the Constitutional right to be secure in her person and possessions. Couldn't Suzie now sue the crap out of mom for rights infringement?
Jaime
droop224, mark this day down. I think it's the first time ever I've agreed with you on, well, anything. w00t.gif

I went to the Washington Supreme Court website and found us a copy of the actual ruling: State v. Christensen. Thankfully, it's short.

After reading the opinion, I fully stand behind the court's decision, which in no place says a parent can never eavesdrop on their child. This case was not about the privacy expectations merely between a child and parent. There was a third party involved, Oliver Christensen, the daughter's boyfriend, and it was his conviction that was on appeal here, not the mother's or daughter's.

A key element in this ruling, and a primary reason I stand behind it, is the vigilante nature of the eavesdropping that the mother committed. In this case, she allowed her daughter to have a reasonable expectation of privacy. She allowed her daughter to take a call from a young man, whom the mother already knew was being investigated for a robbery. Not only that, the mother allowed her daughter to take the call in private, behind a closed door. She gave every expectation of privacy to her daughter, which under the Washington privacy act, is enough to prevent the mother from later eavesdropping.

Further, the mother had every intention of acting as a police authority against a third-party to whom she was not authorized to investigate. She was not solely acting in the best interest of her child. She was out to nail Christensen.

Overlandsailor makes a good argument for a federal appeal in this case. Indeed, the Washington ruling indicates the same:
QUOTE
The federal wiretap statute, which makes interception of communications legal where one party consents, has been interpreted to permit parents acting to protect the welfare of a child, to consent vicariously for their child to the recording of their child's conversations.  See, e.g., Pollock v. Pollock, 154 F.3d 601, 620 (6th Cir. 1998); Scheib v. Grant, 22 F.3d 149, 154 (7th Cir. 1994); Newcomb v. Ingle, 944 F.2d 1534, 1536 (10th Cir. 1991); Janecka v. Franklin, 843 F.2d 110, 110 (2d Cir. 1988); Campbell v. Price, 2 F. Supp.2d 1186, 1191-92 (E.D. Ark. 1998).  The Washington act, with its all-party consent requirement, contains no such parental exception and no Washington court has ever implied such an exception. We decline to do so now.
(emphasis mine). That last line does imply that the Court feels it may get overruled but it also supports a strict states-rights reading of the Washington privacy act.

I think much of the anger some of you seem to hold for the Court in this case is misplaced. A parent in Washington state can certainly eavesdrop on their child if they lead the child to believe s/he has no reasonable expectation of privacy in their home. A little, "I'm the boss of this house and everything in it is mine" sort of talk would easily establish such a household precedent. The mother was a sneaky vigilante in this case and should have simply hung up on Christensen when he called her daughter. The mother's eavesdropping in this case directly influenced Christensen's being convicted. The means by which the mother obtained the information was illegal and therefore the Washington Supreme Court was proper in ordering a new trial.

If you don't like the Washington privacy act be mad at the legislators who wrote it, not the Courts who rule on what the legislators wrote. smile.gif
redliner1989
QUOTE
Do children have a right to total privacy or is it at their parents discretion?


It seems to me that the question has zero to do with the Court Case.

The Washington Supreme Court simply ratified the existing law. This has little to do with parental rights and everything to do with how evidence can be gathered by police authority.

This is simply another in a long list of topics that a "a mountain is being made of a mole hill".

My question is, how did this get this far. The investigating officers had to have known that the evidence, gathered in this manner was questionable. The Prosecution had to have known that the evidence would probably not be admissible, and the Judge in the case should have thrown it out to begin with.

The real shame in this is that the Supreme Court had to be bothered with this.

I am upset that another criminal is roaming the streets free, but we are a country of law. The least that we should expect is for law enforcement to obey the law.
Artemise
QUOTE
1. What happens, if after 18, you move back into your parent's house? They still maintain the financials (such as phones); do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy then? If so, is the only difference because of age?

2. What happens, if while under 18, your child is at some other parent's house who eavesdrops on your child's conversation? Is this a reasonable violation of privacy?

3. What happens, if while under 18, your child is at a family members house (say an older sibling) who eavesdrops on you child's conversation? Is this okay?

4. What happens, if while under 18, your child calls you from someone's house and that someone eavesdrops on your conversation? Is this okay?


I dont understand what is going on here. Children are to be supervised, whether it be by their own parents or by parents in another home. I do believe age has everything to do with it.

In question 1., as an Adult you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. As a Minor you do not. So in questions 2-4, eavesdropping is not only fine in my mind but probably a good idea.

Perhaps the court ruled according to law, then true, the law is wrong. How is it that teenagers or children of any age have a reasonable expectation of privacy to begin with, set up previously or NOT? Arent they making bombs under their beds? threatening to kill their parents in online diaries and sometimes doing it, all with parents afraid to LOOK for fear of breaking the law?
Im many suicide, murder and mass murder cases involving teenagers, several kids knew beforehand. It was discussed on the phone and by email. Personally I think many more parents should be watching and listening, and true what you said Jaime, the mother gave every expectation of privacy to the daughter....because teens are not going to say anything in front of you. It makes sense. You say she was out to nail Christensen, damn straight, except she didnt make it up. Where is there a 'nailing' when a crime is admitted between tow teens over the phone? What good would hanging up have done? What if he were talking about murdering his parents or hers? It may not be right in the court of law but it was in the best interest of her daughter and herself in the end, and THATS the most important thing, law or no law.

In my opinion a parent does not need to show probable cause for search and seizure either. Probable cause IS that you are a child/teenager.
What are parents expected to do these days? How do you have control, how do you intervene if you cant even investigate? Bollocks, baloney, bad legislation. Its truly time parents take back their rights.

How is is that children are suddenly running the home, with protection of their privacy? Especially in light of Columbine and related events? More kids are murdering their parents and each other than ever before, two in alaska only in the last 6 months, one recently hacked up his step mother, threw her in a freezer and when caught claimed it was because he had smoked a joint. Tell me that he hadnt talked to several other friends about it.
Come on people! If the country wants to get conservative and limit peoples civil rights, lets start here and give parents back their power and dignity.
Vampiel
QUOTE(Artemise @ Dec 12 2004, 04:38 AM)
QUOTE
1. What happens, if after 18, you move back into your parent's house? They still maintain the financials (such as phones); do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy then? If so, is the only difference because of age?

2. What happens, if while under 18, your child is at some other parent's house who eavesdrops on your child's conversation? Is this a reasonable violation of privacy?

3. What happens, if while under 18, your child is at a family members house (say an older sibling) who eavesdrops on you child's conversation? Is this okay?

4. What happens, if while under 18, your child calls you from someone's house and that someone eavesdrops on your conversation? Is this okay?


I dont understand what is going on here. Children are to be supervised, whether it be by their own parents or by parents in another home. I do believe age has everything to do with it.

In question 1., as an Adult you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. As a Minor you do not. So in questions 2-4, eavesdropping is not only fine in my mind but probably a good idea.

Perhaps the court ruled according to law, then true, the law is wrong. How is it that teenagers or children of any age have a reasonable expectation of privacy to begin with, set up previously or NOT? Arent they making bombs under their beds? threatening to kill their parents in online diaries and sometimes doing it, all with parents afraid to LOOK for fear of breaking the law?
Im many suicide, murder and mass murder cases involving teenagers, several kids knew beforehand. It was discussed on the phone and by email. Personally I think many more parents should be watching and listening, and true what you said Jaime, the mother gave every expectation of privacy to the daughter....because teens are not going to say anything in front of you. It makes sense. You say she was out to nail Christensen, damn straight, except she didnt make it up. Where is there a 'nailing' when a crime is admitted between tow teens over the phone? What good would hanging up have done? What if he were talking about murdering his parents or hers? It may not be right in the court of law but it was in the best interest of her daughter and herself in the end, and THATS the most important thing, law or no law.

In my opinion a parent does not need to show probable cause for search and seizure either. Probable cause IS that you are a child/teenager.
What are parents expected to do these days? How do you have control, how do you intervene if you cant even investigate? Bollocks, baloney, bad legislation. Its truly time parents take back their rights.

How is is that children are suddenly running the home, with protection of their privacy? Especially in light of Columbine and related events? More kids are murdering their parents and each other than ever before, two in alaska only in the last 6 months, one recently hacked up his step mother, threw her in a freezer and when caught claimed it was because he had smoked a joint. Tell me that he hadnt talked to several other friends about it.
Come on people! If the country wants to get conservative and limit peoples civil rights, lets start here and give parents back their power and dignity.
*



Where does it end? This is a slippery slope. I can lend you a few hundred more examples of adults massacuring other human beings. Should we simply put a chip on everyone? Should parents put a GPS tracker on their children with a shock collar?

I moved out of my parents home at the know it all age of 16 and payed for my own phone. Would it then be ok if my parents tapped my line then? Let's say I lived in my parents house but they didnt pay for the phone, the government did. Would it then be ok for the government to listen at will to my conversation because they payed for the phone line? How about the parents, they dont pay for the phone line so that makes it ok?

You argue that the parents own the phone line, but ultimately the phone company owns the lines on the street. So would that then give them the authority to tap anyone they please?

A child from home calls another person. The phone company wants to listen in on the conversation, they own the line on the street so they tap it and listen in. The person listening in on the telephone pole is the parent. So you believe that the courts should allow this?

Im all for a parent being able to disipline a child but legally the buck has to stop somewhere.
Eeyore
QUOTE(Rev_DelFuego @ Dec 10 2004, 01:32 AM)

From the Houston Chronicle:

QUOTE
Striking a blow for rebellious teenagers, the Washington Supreme Court ruled today that state law prohibits parents from eavesdropping on a child's phone conversations.


Question for debate:
Do children have a right to total privacy or is it at their parents discretion?
*




I think much of the issue here was shoddy or intentionally misleading journalism. Civil liberties come with jeopardies. Some criminals will avoid or delay their justice because of the protections we have from overzealous and invasive government officials

QUOTE
Striking a blow for rebellious teenagers, the Washington Supreme Court ruled today that state law prohibits parents from eavesdropping on a child's phone conversations.


I think this opening line is quite misleading. I don;t see anything implying that the mother is open to criminal charges for her actions. I also do not see an admonition against all parents who spy on their children. I see a violation of someone else's right to privacy. That woman had full parental rights in punishing her daughter based on anything she heard in that conversation. I suspect she was in her full rights in calling the police and telling them the gist of the conversation, but the police had to come up with other evidence to use against the perp.

I don't see any restriction on parental rights here.
Rev_DelFuego
QUOTE
The federal wiretap statute, which makes interception of communications legal where one party consents, has been interpreted to permit parents acting to protect the welfare of a child, to consent vicariously for their child to the recording of their child's conversations.


I agree with the federal wiretap statute, and admit that I thought this was the case in every state when I started this topic. The parents should have every right to listen, record, inspect, question, and in some instances confine their children and their belongs without a warrant since they are ultimately responsible for their safety.
Jaime
Forgive me for being repetitive but it seems some of you haven't fully grasped that this case was not about a mother spying on her kid, despite what the headlines and articles say. This case was about a woman spying on a third-party, her daughter's boyfriend. The mother had no parental control over him and was not authorized as a police agent to investigate him for potential crimes. There is no relationship that existed between the mother and the daughter's boyfriend that would lead any party to believe that the boyfriend did not have an expectation of privacy.

Redliner was spot on in his assertion that the police and prosecutors knew the proper procedures for obtaining evidence for a case. They screwed that up in this one. They should have set up a legally ordered wire-tap on the mother's phone had they probable cause to do so. They did not do that in here and justice was served by the Washington Supreme Court.

This case is in no way about parents losing control of their children. It is about police and prosecutors getting lazy and failing to follow the law. Washington parents feel free to spy on your kids all you want, you will not be arrested. zipped.gif
LFTHNDTHRDS
Again...
QUOTE
What happens now in the State of Washington if Suzie's mom looks in her desk drawer and finds a joint?


Again..
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Couldn't Suzie now sue the crap out of mom for rights infringement?


Doesn't the ruling affect this problem seeing how Suzie has a "reasonable expectation of privacy"?
Artemise
QUOTE
Forgive me for being repetitive but it seems some of you haven't fully grasped that this case was not about a mother spying on her kid, despite what the headlines and articles say.


Forgive us for answering the debate question, Do children have a right to total privacy or is it at their parents discretion? which does not specifically adress this case exclusively.I think your answer was fully understood, and the discussion then expanded to-- the legislation is wrong, and yes, the prsecutors did no do their job. I dont think the mother considered herself the police, did the right thing and was called to testify about what she knew.

Vampiel, who owns the phone lines is of least importance, the basis of my argument is a child being a minor and as Rev put it, the parent is ultimately responsible for them. That gives them no automatic rights to privacy IMO--and I dont care what the law says about it either, because when a kid kills another kid and they find out that it was well planned and known he was going to do it, hindsight is always 20/20. As well, to use an arguments that some have used on this board about invasion of civilian privacy...if youre not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about?
logophage
QUOTE(Artemise @ Dec 13 2004, 01:44 AM)
Vampiel, who owns the phone lines is of least importance, the basis of my argument is a child being a minor and as Rev put it, the parent is ultimately responsible for them. That gives them no automatic rights to privacy IMO--and I dont care what the law says about it either, because when a kid kills another kid and they find out that it was well planned and known he was going to do it, hindsight is always 20/20.

While it is true that children are afforded fewer civil liberties than adults, it is not true that parents can do whatever they want to "protect" their children. The question does not determine as binary of an answer as you are arguing, Artemise. Like anything in society, it is really a question of degree. Surely, you cannot believe that a 16 year old and a 6 year old should be treated identically. Even the law itself doesn't treat them identically as demonstrated when 16 year olds are tried as adults for egregious crimes (and 6 year olds are not). In other words, the law sometimes recognizes that the parent is not necessarily responsible for the actions of a teenager. Of course, I am not arguing that a parent isn't responsible; it is just that the level of autonomy grows proportionally with age.

QUOTE
As well, to use an arguments that some have used on this board about invasion of civilian privacy...if youre not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about?
*

So you are arguing that parents are perfectly justified in giving their teenagers cavity searches on, say, a biweekly basis. If there's nothing to hide, then they have nothing to worry about, right? Except, of course, they'll likely be quite worried about the cavity searches themselves. But, as you've argued, children get no "automatic rights of privacy".

Edited to add:

Perhaps, some of the under-18 debaters here can comment on the thoughts raised on this thread.
Mrs. Pigpen
I don’t know about this one. Perhaps each situation must be considered individually. In this particular case, I can understand why the judge ruled as he did, because it was basically an issue of entrapment, due to the mother’s encouragement of the conversation…but I have to side with Artemise on general principle here.

If the child has the right to a "reasonable expectation" of privacy, and the evidence collected due to an “invasion” of that child's privacy cannot be admissible in court...how does that effect exploitation cases regarding the child? This case seems to allow the easy exploitation of any child, so long as the child acquiesces to the exploitation and provides the perpetrator with “privacy”.

A woman I know is the guardian of her 13 year old grandson. He was a prior drug addict, and involved with a gang. He even threatened her life, should she turn him or his “friends” in to the law. He did spend some time in juvenile hall, subsequently went to therapy, and is now improving under her very close supervision…but I must wonder what would happen under this ruling? huh.gif

If the child has a reasonable expectation of privacy on the phone lines, what about inside the child’s mattress? What is the recourse for the parent if he/she knows that a person is involving his child in criminal activity? It seems to me perfectly "reasonable" that any person who discusses or engages in illegal behavior with a minor should have a "reasonable expectation" that there is NO "reasonable expectation" of privacy. Do people under the supervision of a parole officer have such a “reasonable expectation” when they speak with their “associates” on the phone?

For that matter…..Doesn’t the internet provide a basic expectation of privacy when viewing child pornography sites (at least as reasonable as the cordless phone line)? Isn’t that simply a private matter between the child and viewer?
Artemise
QUOTE
Even the law itself doesn't treat them identically as demonstrated when 16 year olds are tried as adults for egregious crimes (and 6 year olds are not). In other words, the law sometimes recognizes that the parent is not necessarily responsible for the actions of a teenager. Of course, I am not arguing that a parent isn't responsible; it is just that the level of autonomy grows proportionally with age.


Of course you do not have to search a six year olds room for weapons, or their internet pages for plans on making bombs, or their bookbag for drugs.
The level of autonomy grows with age, and so does the level of danger that something you dont know about is going on.
This mother had probable cause really, she wasnt just randomely listening to or taping ALL her daughters conversations. (Admissable in a court of law or not, it certainely cut short the relationship between the boy and girl and the law intervened.)

QUOTE
So you are arguing that parents are perfectly justified in giving their teenagers cavity searches on, say, a biweekly basis.


Dont be ridiculous.

QUOTE
children get no "automatic rights of privacy".


'Automatic' rights to privacy take away parental power when they are running up on difficulties with teens, and sometimes they need to bond as parents of different families to find out what is going on as well, this involves spying on them! In parent/teen relationships children must earn trust. The moment there is reasonable suspicion that a child or several are involved with illegal activity,or clandestine activities that the family doesnt approve of, IMO, all compromises and 'reasonable rights' are off the table.
If not what recourses do parents have--how are they supposed to find out things? ASK? laugh.gif

In my time if a parent in a neighborhood drove by and saw you doing something out of line, they called your mother first thing and you got whipped on hearsay alone no questions asked.
Now parents dont trust each other, think theyre kids are always perfect and are becomming more and more powerless when affronted with the much tougher problems of today. Different times call for different solutions and these times are downright dangerous for kids.
I just think that children and teens need a shorter leash and stronger family ties, and sometimes a random but discreeet room search or dropping in on the occasional phone call.
logophage
QUOTE(Artemise @ Dec 13 2004, 03:30 PM)
QUOTE
Even the law itself doesn't treat them identically as demonstrated when 16 year olds are tried as adults for egregious crimes (and 6 year olds are not). In other words, the law sometimes recognizes that the parent is not necessarily responsible for the actions of a teenager. Of course, I am not arguing that a parent isn't responsible; it is just that the level of autonomy grows proportionally with age.

Of course you do not have to search a six year olds room for weapons, or their internet pages for plans on making bombs, or their bookbag for drugs.

It's not unheard of for six year olds to have weapons and/or drugs though, of course, much less common than teenagers.

QUOTE
The level of autonomy grows with age, and so does the level of danger that something you dont know about is going on.

Sure. There's always a danger that something you don't know about will hurt you.

QUOTE
This mother had probable cause really, she wasnt just randomely listening to or taping ALL her daughters conversations. (Admissable in a court of law or not, it certainely cut short the relationship between the boy and girl and the law intervened.)

I agree that the mother had justification for what she was doing, but was it sufficient justification? I'm not making a blanket statement here. I'm concerned about the "corner cases". The cases where the lines of civil liberties and parental authority are blurred. I don't believe that every situation involving minors always has the same answer, that is, the parent is justified in doing whatever s/he wants to "protect" the minor.

QUOTE
QUOTE
So you are arguing that parents are perfectly justified in giving their teenagers cavity searches on, say, a biweekly basis.

Dont be ridiculous.

So you would agree that there are lines which parents should not cross in an effort to protect their children. This is all I was trying to get at.

QUOTE
If not what recourses do parents have--how are they supposed to find out things? ASK?  laugh.gif  
... 
I just think that children and teens need a shorter leash and stronger family ties, and sometimes a random but discreeet room search or dropping in on the occasional phone call.
*

I agree that there is the "right" amount of authority a parent should wield. I think privacy is pretty important so the justification should be extreme to support it. More importantly, if I did transgress my child's privacy in order to ensure her well-being, I would make it clear that it was an act of desperation on my part and not something I would choose normally. However, the mother in the article did behave like an illegal wiretap -- a line which I would not cross.
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