COMMENTARY | 18-year-old Rachel Canning sued her parents, seeking $650 per week to pay for private school tuition, living expenses, and college tuition. Oh, and attorney’s fees. Since October Canning has been living with a friend, whose father is the attorney on her behalf (talk about a nice profit motive), and claims that her parents were abusive. However, her attorney implied that the girl herself was at least partially to blame for the rift with her parents, saying her parents should have “sought help” for the teen’s misbehavior instead of “cutting her off financially,” reports CBS.
Fortunately for all parents, the judge has ruled against the teen, citing her escalating misbehavior as troublesome and asserting that Canning’s parents had every right to lay down some “strict rules.” However, the judge has not yet ruled on the issue of Canning’s college tuition, choosing to wait until the end of April.
Canning’s parents have repeatedly denied that they “abandoned” their daughter and insist that the girl chose to leave their home over anger toward their rules, which included chores and a curfew. They say they have asked her to return and have not refused to pay her college tuition. The issue, claims her father, is that Canning seems to want to “go shopping at a high end store” and send somebody “the bill.”
As an observer, Rachel Canning seems like a spoiled brat. She doesn’t want to follow the rules or live at home, which every indication seems to suggest is a well-to-do home, but still wants the perks of her parents’ money. And, of course, the money is for luxuries rather than necessities: Private school tuition and, later on, for out-of-state college tuition.
You would think that a girl who wants sympathy for allegedly being “cut off” would set her sights on more realistic goals, such as being able to finish her high school education at a public school and tuition money for an in-state college. And this is on top of the fact that, as an 18-year-old, she is no longer a minor. How many 18-year-olds get little or no financial assistance from their parents after high school? Her whiny lawsuit is a slap in the face to all the hardworking teens and twentysomethings working multiple jobs or taking out hefty loans to pay for college tuition.
“I want to rebel and do whatever I want but I don’t want to have to get a job or pay my own way,” seems to be the gist of her litigation.
Obviously, ruling in favor of this girl would be harmful to parents everywhere, setting a precedent that would prevent parents from using “tough love.” Teens would run wild, knowing that their parents could not cut them off without the risk of being forced to pay anyway by the courts. “You can’t stop paying my private school tuition or deny my out-of-state college tuition,” teens could sneer, “I’ll just sue and they courts will make you pony up the dough.”
Hopefully, when the end of April rolls around, the judge aggressively denies Canning’s demand for college tuition money. Since she has eschewed her parents’ rules she can do what millions of other college students do: Take out student loans. That might help adjust her attitude!