This column sometimes makes me feel like Peter Griffin saying “You know what really grinds my gears?” But this story takes the cake.
According to CNN, a New Jersey high school senior is suing her parents for “financial support and college tuition,” on top of legal fees and “current living and transportation expenses.”
A New Jersey judge denied the teenager’s request for immediate financial assistance from the parents, according to the article.
Here are the facts of the lawsuit: Rachel Canning, an 18-year-old student, alleges that her parents kicked her out of the house, causing her to be unable to financially support herself. She said in court documents that she had to leave because of psychological mistreatment, that her mother called her “fat” and “porky” and that her father threatened to beat her, all according to CNN.
That being said, her parents, Sean and Elizabeth, claim they have always been supportive of their daughter. Rachel was suspended from school last October, along with her boyfriend.
The parents argue Rachel ran away after her phone and car privileges were taken away and was told she could not see her boyfriend anymore. Rachel is now living with a friend in a nearby town, according to CNN.
When Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) staff members interviewed the teen, her parents, and her two younger sisters, they ultimately “determined that allegation of emotional abuse was unfounded,” a letter from DCPP states, as reported by CNN.
So after reviewing the facts, I have a few feelings to share. As a college student who works four jobs, I understand and appreciate the financial help my dad gives me for my education. Now, I can’t fathom someone who is only two or three years younger than me going through a legal battle with her parents because they were trying to teach their daughter a life lesson.
From speculation on the case, it seems like Rachel was a good student who made some bad life choices. In this situation, it seems more like a breakdown of family values than abuse.
Higher education is something that not everyone gets to experience and not everyone can fall back on suing their parents for tuition. I do not know the validity of her abuse claims, and if she truly was in an abusive household, then as a legal adult who is about to leave high school and realize that the world is more than ditching class and cheerleading practice, she has every right to leave her parent’s home.
On top of all of this, the parents have told Rachel to come home, and Elizabeth has refused to comment on the situation because she is so upset. It does not seem like a lack of caring on the part of the parents, but rather an escalated situation to an absurd legal level on the part of Rachel. She should have respected the rules of her parents. A curfew and a punishment does not have to be the end of the world.
Perhaps resorting to suing your parents seems a bit juvenile to me.