College student granted protection from parents
Are you familiar with the term “helicopter parents?” These are moms and dads who hover over their kids even after they’ve graduated from high school and gone off to college. It’s not an uncommon phenomenon but few students take formal action to stop it.
Ohio college senior, Aubrey Ireland, is an exception. Her parents meddled in her affairs, although she’s 21-years-old and lives away from home. Her parents live in Kansas but have travelled 600 miles to her school to check up on her unannounced. They’ve also monitored her cellphone and computer and accused her of promiscuous behavior, drug use and having mental health problems.
As a last resort, Aubrey went to court in December, 2012 and accused her parents of stalking her. She requested a restraining order against them and the judge granted her petition. Aubrey explained “I never wanted this to happen, that’s the last thing I wanted . . . . But I wasn’t in control of my life at all anymore. I knew that they were holding me back emotionally, mentally, and professionally and that it got to the point where that was basically my last option.”
The judge ordered her parents, David and Julie Ireland, to stay away from her until September, 2013 when she graduates from college. In response they stopped paying her college tuition but the school came through with a scholarship for the rest of her senior year. This is an extreme case of parental involvement with college-age children. Many students agree with sharing their college years with their parents and welcome a degree of oversight.
Aubrey is a theatre major and on the dean’s list. We hope she and her parents will eventually put this behind them and the Irelands will allow her to become the accomplished woman she wishes to be.