Covered by ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, an Ohio college student named Aubrey Ireland was recently granted a civil stalking order against her parents due to their overprotective behavior that included installing monitoring software on her electronics. According to AZ Central, the monitoring software on her smartphone would provide them with details about incoming and outgoing calls and a keylogger installed on the laptop could potentially keep track of things like instant message chat history, websites visited and login information to social networks like Facebook. In addition, Aubrey allegedly had to connect with her parents over Skype and leave the video stream constantly running to allow them to watch her sleep all night in the bedroom.
While attending the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, Aubrey’s parents would allegedly travel approximately 600 miles from their home in Kansas to visit their daughter unannounced as well as meet with her department head at the school.
After her parents allegedly accused her of promiscuous behavior and drug use, they began talking about having her committed against her will to get treatment for “mental issues” as well as her other behavior.
At this point, the dean’s list student met with school officials and decided to take legal action against her parents. After hearing the arguments on both sides, Ohio Common Pleas Court Judge Jody Luebbers ruled in Aubrey’s favor and told the parents that they were the problem in the relationship. According to the stipulations within the order, parents David and Julie Ireland must stay a minimum of 500 feet away from Aubrey until September 23, 2013. In addition, the school has hired security guards to help keep Aubrey’s parents away from her musical theater performances. Both parents could face criminal charges if they attempt to violate the protection order.
When asked about the actions of her parents, the 21-year-old stated “They basically thought that they were paying for my college tuition and living expenses that they could tell me what to do, who to hang out with, basically control all of my daily life.” Regarding acquiring the stalking order, she continued “I never wanted this to happen, that’s the last thing I wanted. But I wasn’t in control of my life anymore. I knew they were holding me back emotionally, mentally and professionally. And that it got to the point where that was basically my last option.”
Aubrey claims that her parents have been diagnosed with codependency personality disorder. That’s a condition where a person attempts to live through someone else by attempting to control their actions and protect their well-being. In regards to the relationship between a parent and child, it’s also commonly called helicopter parenting.
However, her parents claim that she lied to the judge about their actions and they are attempting to get a refund from the school for the $66,000 spent on her college education. Aubrey’s parents have stopped paying for her tuition, but Aubrey has obtained a full scholarship from the school to finish out her senior year and complete her college education.