Dad Charged With Theft After Confiscating Daughter's Cell Phone

Good parenting or crime?

It's a common parenting technique. If your child misbehaves, you take away a privilege to teach them a lesson. But one dad faced a punishment of his own after confiscating his daughter's cell phone to discipline her. 

Ronald Jackson, of Grand Prairie, Texas, was served with a citation for a Class B misdemeanor after a 2013 incident in which he took away his, then, 12-year-old daughter's phone, after finding what he felt was a rude message. 

"I was being a parent," Jackson told CBS Dallas-Forth Worth. "A child does something wrong, you teach them what's right. You tell them what they did wrong and you give them a punishment to show 'You shouldn't be doing that'."

So he was shocked when the police came calling. Jackson was charged with misdemeanor theft, arrested and spent time in jail before paying a $1,500 bail. 

Just this past week, Jackson's case finally went to court. He went before a judge and his daughter, now 15, testified. The punishment for being found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor is six months in prison and up to a $2,000 fine. 

The judge ruled there was insufficient evidence and he was found not guilty. 

The teen's mother, Michelle Steppe, who is no longer coupled with Jackson, said she was disappointed by the verdict. "You can't take someone's property, regardless if you're a parent or not," Steppe told WFAA. Steppe says she is the rightful owner of the phone as she purchased it and paid the bill for it. 

Jackson says the fiasco has ruined his relationship with his daughter. 

Other parents have also made headlines for their hard stances on disciplining their kids. Late last year, a mother's note to her son went viral after she told him he would have to help her pay the bills if he continued his rude behavior. And a father humorously threatened to disconnect his teens' WiFi access if they didn't clean up after themselves. 

What do you think about Jackson being taken to court for theft? Let us know in comments below. 


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