“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?’” her father said.
posted on March 3, 2014 at 4:06pm EST
She claims they threw her out of their home when she turned 18.
According to her father, Sean Canning, Rachel was an “incredibly rebellious teen” who ran away from home because she didn’t want to abide by her parents’ rules.
The rules include being respectful, keeping a curfew, doing chores, and potentially ending her relationship with a boyfriend who they feel is a bad influence.
According to Rachel, they gave her the option of dumping him or getting out.
Her parents have also said that Rachel has had disciplinary problems, having been suspended twice at school and gotten in trouble for bullying her sister, according to 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?’” Sean said, adding that Rachel’s college fund is available and has not been withdrawn or re-allocated as she alleged in the lawsuit.
Rachel, who aspires to be a biochemical engineer, is an honor student at Morris Catholic High School in Denville, N.J., and is on the cheerleading and lacrosse teams.
Since the alleged “abandonment,” the teenager has been living with the family of her best friend Jaime Inglesino. Jaime’s father, John, an attorney and former Morris County Freeholder, is funding the lawsuit and hired Canning’s lawyer, Tanya N. Helfand.
In a hearing scheduled for March 4, Helfand will ask Morristown Judge Peter Bogaard for Rachel’s parents, Sean and Elizabeth, to pay an outstanding $5,306 Morris Catholic tuition bill, plus their daughter’s current living and transportation fees, and commit an existing college fund to her.
The lawsuit also includes a request that Rachel’s parents pay their daughter’s legal fees, which so far total $12,597.
Sean Canning, a retired police chief, denied the claims his daughter made, and said she voluntarily left home in October.
The township administrator said he fears his daughter is being “enabled” by “well-intentioned but ill-informed people” like the Inglesinos.
“We love our child and miss her. This is terrible. It’s killing me and my wife. We have a child we want home,” he said. “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.’”
Canning’s parents decided that as of Nov. 1, her 18th birthday, she would be cut off “from all support both financially and emotionally,” she alleged in court papers.
She added that after she accused her parents of abuse, her school advised her not to return home and contacted the state child protection agency.
“My parents have rationalized their actions by blaming me for not following their rules,” she said in her court documents. “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.”
Court papers include a letter from Kathleen Smith, Canning’s English teacher and campus minister, who wrote that she saw an unsettling encounter between the teen and her mother last October, where she heard Elizabeth Canning call her daughter a name and say she didn’t want to speak to her again.
A representative for child protection services visited for about three hours last fall and found nothing amiss, Sean Canning said.
Canning added that the investigation was discontinued after the officer determined Rachel was “spoiled.”
Much more and many pictures at link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/a-new-jersey-cheerleader-is-suing-her-parents-to-pay-for-her