New Jersey cheerleader sues parents for college tuition money

"I’m dumbfounded, so is my wife, so are my other daughters," father says.
By Evan Bleier  |  March 4, 2014 at 9:25 AM
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MORRIS COUNTY , N.J., March 4 (UPI) -- A New Jersey cheerleader and honor student is suing her parents to get them to provide financial support and to force them to pay for an outstanding private school bill as well as her college education.

Rachel Canning, a student at Morris Catholic High School, claims that her parents cut her off when she turned 18 on Nov. 1 and have refused to pay for her higher education as well as take care of a $5,306 tuition bill at her current school.

“My parents have rationalized their actions by blaming me for not following their rules,” Rachel said in court papers. “They stopped paying my high school tuition to punish the school and me and have redirected my college fund, indicating their refusal to afford me an education as a punishment.”

Rachel has a $20,000 scholarship to the University of Vermont.

“We’re being sued by our child,” her father, Sean Canning, told CBS New York. “I’m dumbfounded, so is my wife, so are my other daughters. I know Rachel is a) a good kid, b) an incredibly rebellious teen, and she’s getting some terrible information.”

The father of Rachel’s best friend, Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino, is helping her with the lawsuit. Rachel is currently staying at his home.

“Rachel is likeable, communicates exceptionally well and is highly motivated to attend and excel at a college appropriate for her. That is why my wife and I have decided to fund this lawsuit. We know that if Mr. and Mrs. Canning are not required to fulfill their legal obligations as parents, that Rachel’s ability to fulfill her potential will be greatly diminished,” Inglesino wrote in court papers. The Inglesinos have already spent more than $12,000 on the lawsuit.

Both sides are due in court on Tuesday.

“We love our child and miss her. This is terrible. It’s killing me and my wife. We have a child we want home. We’re not Draconian and now we’re getting hauled into court. She’s demanding that we pay her bills but she doesn’t want to live at home and she’s saying, ‘I don’t want to live under your rules,’” Sean told the Daily Record.

“We’re heartbroken, but what do you do when a child says ‘I don’t want your rules but I want everything under the sun and you to pay for it?’”

[CBS New York] [The Daily Record]

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