Daughter sues parents for private school and college tuition

When reading this story from leftist CNN, I think it’s possible to decide who is lying and who is telling the truth based on whether the claims can be verified. Not every claim made by each side can be verified, but I am inclined to belief entirely the side that makes testable claims.


A high school senior’s lawsuit against her mother and father for financial support and college tuition hit a hurdle Tuesday when a New Jersey judge denied the teenager’s request for immediate financial assistance from the parents.

Rachel Canning, 18, alleges in her lawsuit that her parents forced her out of their Lincoln Park, New Jersey home, and that she is unable to support herself financially. The lawsuit asks that her parents pay the remaining tuition for her last semester at her private high school, pay her current living and transportation expenses, commit to paying her college tuition and pay her legal fees for the suit she filed against her parents.

Her parents say she left home because she didn’t want to obey their rules.

Here are the daughter’s claims:

Canning, an honor student and cheerleader at Morris Catholic High School in Denville, says in court documents she had to leave her parents’ home because of emotional and psychological mistreatment, alleging, among other things, that her mother called her “fat” and “porky” and that her father threatened to beat her.

“I have been subjected to severe verbal and physical abuse by my mother and father,” Canning wrote in a court certification. “I am not willingly and voluntarily leaving a reasonable situation at home to make my own decisions. I had to leave to end the abuse.”

Here are some facts not in dispute:

Canning left her parents’ home at the end of last October. After spending two nights at her boyfriend’s home, she moved into the home of her friend in a nearby town, where she has been staying ever since, according to court documents written by the parents’ attorney.

And here are her parent’s claims:

Canning’s parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, claim that allegations of abuse are completely unfounded.

“We were always her support team, cheering her on or defending her whenever she had a problem,” wrote Elizabeth Canning in a court certification. She claims that her daughter was never forced out of the family’s home, but rather “took it upon herself to run away so that she could live her life without any parental supervision and without any rules.”

Canning was suspended from school for truancy last October, according to court documents filed by her parents’ attorney, Laurie Rush-Masuret. Her parents told the teen that she could no longer see her boyfriend, who was also suspended from school. Car and phone privileges were also taken away. Once she learned of the punishment, Canning cut school again and then decided to run away, her father said in court documents.

Once she left home, her parents notified Morris Catholic High School that they would no longer pay for their daughter’s tuition, the documents state.

Now it seems to me that her parents are now on record making testable claims in court documents – claims that can be verified. Why would they do that if they knew those claims were not true? So I’m inclined to believe them, and I’m glad that this woman’s mother is sticking by her man in this fight. That is not always the case when daughters sue fathers.

So, I’m going to assume that the parents are telling the truth. But even if they aren’t, do you think that it’s normal for a child to sue her parents for disciplining her? I find it astonishing that a child could be so stupid as to prefer her boyfriend and her friends’ parents to her own parents. Doesn’t she know that long after the boyfriend and the other couple are gone, that her parents will still be there for her? What they’ve provided her with already in terms of sending her to a private school shows me that they must care about her. Parents don’t shell out money for private schools unless they have some interest in their child’s success.

So I guess I’m shocked by this story, and I’m wondering what young women are coming to when they do things like this. They seem to be so rebellious, making wrong decisions and then turning to abortion, social programs and no-fault divorce to get out of their own poor choices. It really is scary. Speaking as a man, the fact that this trial even happened makes me not want to bother with marriage and children. Don’t people realize how it looks to men when they see things like this? No man is working and saving up for marriage to be treated like this. We don’t get married to have MORE rebellion and disorder.

By the way, I had to search several stories to find the details about the suspensions and the boyfriend, and CNN was the only source that had it. Color me surprised.

UPDATE: A lot more on what the daughter did to drive the parents crazy in the UK Daily Mail.

13 thoughts on “Daughter sues parents for private school and college tuition”

  1. I was looking into that story (I saw it first on NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-awy/2014/03/04/285887838/teen-sues-parents-claiming-they-owe-her-money-for-college?ft=1&f=1001) and on their coverage it says that the judge “Bogaard also “noted that Rachel Canning’s behavior over the past year has been in question,” reports CBS 2 TV: “one or two school suspensions, drinking, losing her captaincy on the cheerleading squad and being kicked out of the campus ministry.””

    I am not sure what to think but forcing parent’s to pay for choices such as a private school, and lifestyles are something that is scary (but all to common by the government).

    The section that has that a key comment is “Bogaard (the judge) said the question of public policy must be considered, Izzo reported, as the case might set a precedent in which children can flout their parents’ rules and then demand money from them. Court documents filed by Rachel Canning alleged that her parents abandoned her. But her lawsuit stopped short of seeking full emancipation from them – if that connection is removed, her parents would cease to have an obligation toward their daughter.”

    Wait, see that… “But her lawsuit stopped short of seeking full emancipation from them – if that connection is removed, her parents would cease to have an obligation toward their daughter.”

    If she truly was in danger why would she not want emancipation – she would be considered Independent to the financial aid office and to the school thus opening up more ways to meet costs.

    Personally I think that this case will be thrown out of court but knowing that it went to court worries me. If the Rachel Canning is correct (and I kinda doubt that because her claims cannot be substaniated) then she still has no right to force her parents to pay for her lifestyle. However, where our cultiure is heading I don’t know if that right may be established.


  2. You are very wise to catch that the parents’ claims are testable, WK. If I were the judge, I would make the plaintiff’s lawyer pay for the entire court costs and then see that she (the lawyer) is debarred. It is criminal for an attorney to accept such a case. The “baby” girl is spoiled, and the parents bear some responsibility in this, but the solution is NOT to spoil her more.

    The parents are at least nominally Catholic, and their behavior regarding laying down the rules is consistent with solid Catholics that I know. The girl needs a good spanking – long overdue. Perhaps that is the “beating” that the father offered. It is stunning to me that such a case could even make it into court, but such is the nanny state we live in.


    1. At least they are trying to parent her, but what scares me is when the state steps in to overrule them. As if they paid the bills to house and feed her when she was growing up so they get a say in it.


  3. If the student loses this law suit, then why does the govenment tell students to fill out the FAFSA to see how much the parents have to contribute to their students college tution?


    1. The parents do not “have to contribute”. The contribution that is expected is deducted from the FASFA calculation for interest rate favored loans. The balance, if not covered by the parents, can be covered by conventional interest rate educational loans. Children of 18+ do not have the “right” to coerce their parents to pay for college.


    2. The FAFSA only asks for the parents’ information if the student is a dependent of the parents. If the student is living on their own and cannot be claimed as a dependent on the parents’ tax return, they don’t enter their parents’ information.


  4. The parents are lucky. My last year in America I had a female student who was hanging out with her boyfriend and doing drugs. When her parents decided to homeschool her, she accused her father of sexual abuse.


      1. This happens more than you think, WK. Years ago, our then neighbors (conservative evangelicals) had a troubled teen daughter. Father tried to corral her, and she accused him of sexual abuse. He was kicked out, registered and so on, and was eventually cleared when she recanted a few months later, but severe damage was done to his life and reputation. Girls know that they have legal leverage over their dads, and due to a clear lack of maturity, some are willing to use it in ways that permanently damage them. It’s much more common than you think.


  5. Sorry for the double post, but my guess is that little Rachel will next be trying to get a career in reality TV where lack of integrity, selfishness and narcissism are richly rewarded.


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