In early April, we told you about Denise New, a mom who took it upon herself to post vulgar things on her son’s Facebook wall while logged into his account. She posted several questionable messages, with some of them made to look like the teen had posted them himself, including “Does anyone have a room for rent? Help a poor mother out and get him out of my house.” During the trial, she said she mistakenly posted on her son’s page instead of her own, saying: “The only mistake I ever made was having a kid.”
Lane New shown during the court proceeding in a photo taken by Danny Johnston of the Associated Press.
Denise was convicted Thursday of misdemeanor harassment and ordered not to have contact with the teenager. Judge Randy hill ordered her to pay a small fine and take anger-management and parenting courses. She also received a 30-day suspended jail sentence. She will not have to serve the time in jail as long as the other conditions are met. Ms. New is also barred from having any contact with her son. The judge has stated he may allow it in the future if she completes the classes.
The woman said she posted the items on his account only after he had failed to log out of the site on her computer. She also admitted to changing his password so that he couldn’t log in again. One of the messages she left which disturbed her son to the point of filing charges was worded to make it seem as though he was intentionally trying to have her arrested: “Check this out — I went to my mom’s and deliberately started an argument and called the police on her. She almost went to jail. How cool is that? Ha, ha, ha.”
Denise said on the stand that she only posted that item because she “thought” her son had lied to officers on the scene, claiming she had hit him. The judge concluded that that particular posting “could only be construed as an effort by the mother to make out her son to be a liar.” He also criticized her for using vulgarities in messages left on the teen’s cell phone, saying “You said you were trying to teach him a lesson. Were you trying to teach him it’s OK to use foul language? Nobody has the right to talk to anybody else like that.”
What are your thoughts? Does this ruling open up a whole new cans of worms by inviting more actions against parents by teens who feel they have been somehow wronged? Is this an important court decision in protecting teens and their rights?