I’m the type of person who usually sides with kids and young adults when it comes to issues they have with their parents. I’m a parent, I know we can be annoying and unfair and we easily forget what it was like to be 18. Growing up is hard. But after reading new allegations in the case of New Jersey’s Rachel Canning, the 18-year-old Catholic high school student who ran away to live with her friend and is now suing her parents for child support, I’m having a very difficult time finding sympathy for this girl.
According to news reports, on October 30, 2012, two days before her 18th birthday Rachel and her parents had a disciplinary hearing at Morris Catholic where she was suspended for truancy. She had previously been suspended due to alcohol involvement at a Homecoming Dance. Rachel attends the Catolic high school and is an honors student and cheerleader. After this meeting, she ran away from home to stay with one of her friends, and their parents are funding the lawsuit she has instigated against her parents. She is suing to have overdue tuition in the amount of 6,000 dollars to her high school, 654 dollars a week in child support and for her college tuition. She has already received an offer of a 20,000 dollar scholarship.
Rachel’s parents claim she left home because they had forbidden her to see her boyfriend, wanted her to start seeing a therapist and there were some other issues that needed to be addressed, like the fact Rachel had stolen one of their credit cards and had been going out late on school nights drinking.
Rachel claims she ran away from home because her parents were abusive, her mother contributed to her eating disorder, and that her father behaved inappropriately towards her.
From the Daily Mail:
‘In sophomore year i developed an eating disorder and my weight dropped to 105 pounds. In my junior year, I was down to 92 pounds. My mother kept screaming at me, saying I was mentally messed up. My father was angry that I wasn’t going to be able to play basketball because I needed to gain weight.’
She went on: âMy father gave me the sense that he was inappropriately affectionate with me. He mentioned frequently that my relationship in his eyes was not one of a daughter, but more than that.
âIn the summer before my senior year he got me drunk at a wedding and said I was his date. He kept giving me shots and mango martinis. I blacked out that night and woke up at the toilet bowl in our room and he was in bed.âHe constantly put his arm around me in public and would kiss me on the cheek. When we moved to Hackettstown, he once woke me up at 2am to come down to play beer pong with him. The refrigerator was about 75 per cent full of liquor.â