Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Girls Sues Parents

It's all over the news the past couple of days and here are the facts. Rachel Canning, 18, a high school senior, is suing her parents to get them to pay for the rest of her high school education and college. Her high school has already said they won't kick her out. "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." Who is paying her lawyer? The father of the friend that Rachel is currently staying with since she walked out of her family home four months ago. She left home because she didn't want to obey the rules. Apparently Rachel had a boyfriend who her parents thought was a bad influence on her and they wanted her to stop seeing him. An honor student in previous years, Rachel has been in serious trouble the past year. In October she was suspended from her expensive private school for truancy. Her boyfriend was also suspended. The parents took away her car and phone privileges. Rachel didn't like that. CSP was contacted based on Rachel's allegations of parental abuse and the investigation determined they were unfounded. Her parents are distraught. The rules they imposed on her included and 11 o'clock curfew and chores. The parents are upset with the family who took their daughter in and financed this law suit for her, and rightly so. Yesterday the judge ruled against Rachel saying, "Do we want to establish a precedent where parents live in basic fear of establishing rules of the house?" Family Division Judge Peter Bogaard asked. Rachel is seeking to remain unemancipated so her parents will be responsible for all her expenses. The judge also cited certifications submitted by the Sean and Elizabeth Canning about their daughter’s alleged history of staying out and drinking during the week. Once, he said, she was driven home by her boyfriend’s parents at 3 a.m. In addition, Bogaard said, Rachel was removed from her position as captain of the cheer leading squad and from the campus ministry. "What kind of parents would the Cannings be if they did not discipline her?" he asked. "The Cannings had the right to set up rules."

I think Rachel's parents are within their rights to refuse to pay for college. College is a privilege, not a right. College is expensive. I can see helping out a child, when you can and they deserve it, to keep loans down and allowing them more time to study. My younger daughter had no free time to work with the demands of her major. She spent almost all her time at home studying or doing assignments. Both of my girls worked hard throughout their academic careers and my husband and I wanted to help them in any way we could. But, Rachel has made some bad choices. She doesn't seem to appreciate everything she has been given. Her parents paid for her tuition at her private school and she was suspended. Her behavior at school was such that it caused her to be removed from two groups she participated in. Why should her parents pay for her last semester?  Why should they invest money in her college education? How do they know she won't drop out, skip classes and have to retake them, or fnd other ways of getting nto trouble? She broke their trust and their hearts. I knew a girl in college who dropped out after her third year to marry a guy her parents didn't approve of. Then she moved away. I heard some time later the marriage didn't work out, but she had a baby and her whole life was forever changed. Rachel sounds like spoiled brat used to getting her way. This is what she demanded and the judge refused: "Rachel Canning had sought immediate relief in the form of $650 in weekly child support and the payment of the remainder of her tuition at Morris Catholic High School, as well as attorney's fees." What nerve! I agree the parents needed to show some tough love. But their plan has been sabatoged.

I am not so much pissed at Rachel for her ungrateful behavior towards her parents, but at the Ingelsino family, who are financing her law suit. What business is this of theirs? Instead of acting as mediators and trying to help this broken family reconcile, their "well intentioned" interferance is causing more problems than ever. I think it's alienation of parental affection. They are helping her attack her parents. And where does it say she is entitled to all the things she is demanding? She is able bodied. Let her go get a job and see what it feels like to earn money the hard way instead of having it handed to her. She says her parents earn over $300,000 a year and can afford to pay for her college. Maybe they can, maybe they choose not to. It is their money to spend as they see fit. She is 18 and considered an adult. This is their family's personal business. But, instead of trying to fix the matter through reconcliation, these Ingelsino's made it easy for her to stay away from her family and not suffer any consequences for her behavior. They provide her with a roof over her head and nice home cooked meals and who knows what else. If they enjoy being so involved, let them pay for her college and expenses and wait for years or decades while she tries to pay them back. I don't think they will be so eager to do all that, do you? I think these people should be sued for helping cause possibly irreparable damage to the relationships in this family. Can't wait to see what the judge decides about college...I don't think he is going to want to set a precedent that parents have to pay for their children's education!

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