Rachel Canning in court on March 4 CBS NEW YORK
Peggy Wright, (Morris County, N.J.) Daily Record
MORRISTOWN, N.J. -- The father of a high school senior who is suing her parents for child support and college costs said Saturday he just wants his daughter to return home and is upset that she publicly is perceived as "a spoiled brat."
Rachel Canning, 18, has garnered international attention -- often critical and disparaging -- since she filed a lawsuit Feb. 24 in Superior Court against her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, of Lincoln Park.
Rachel contends her parents informed her she would be cut off financially as of Nov. 1, her 18th birthday, unless she started being more respectful at home, stick to a curfew and break up with a boyfriend they don't like. The parents maintain that Rachel voluntarily left home because she didn't want to obey their rules, and that she emancipated herself from any obligation on their part to support her and foot a college tuition bill.
STORY: Teen who sued parents for college funds denied
Sean Canning, a retired Lincoln Park police chief, said Saturday that he and his wife cannot bear to see Rachel being "savaged" in the court of public opinion and want her home. He has said that a college tuition fund in her name will be there for her.
"The war drums keep beating against her," Canning said. "My wife and I are pained to see this, to see her be savaged, to see Rachel be tabloid fodder."
While Rachel, an honor student, cheerleader, basketball and lacrosse player, could not immediately be reached Saturday, Sean Canning said he does not believe she is the author of rants against "greedy parents" posted on a Facebook page titled "Education for Rachel" and established Wednesday.
At least one post uses the pronoun "I" so that it appears to have been written by Rachel. That comment asserts that Rachel's parents should pay for college. But others use the pronoun "We" so that the author is unclear.
See Also: USF student mistaken for teen who sued parents
"We have been stunned by the financial greed of modern parents who are more concerned with retiring into some fantasy world rather than provide for their children's college and young adult years," says one post, seemingly attributable to Rachel on the page.
Another purported Rachel comment on the page says : "We see parents like this every day, children were always an accessory to them and nothing more."
Sean Canning said: "We don't think Rachel wrote those; maybe it's someone close to her. We just think this is a terrible tragedy, it's just become tabloid material. We want Rachel to come home."
Since her falling out with her parents, Rachel has been living with the family of a friend, Jaime Inglesino, in Rockaway Township. Father John Inglesino, a former township mayor and powerful attorney, is funding Rachel's lawsuit. He contends that the action was started after he had two unproductive meetings with Sean Canning about Rachel's future. The Canning's court papers state the Inglesinos have interfered and made the situation worse.
Judge Peter Bogaard ruled this week that Rachel was not immediately entitled to weekly child support and college costs and has set April 22 for a hearing on whether the young woman is emancipated or still within the legal "sphere of influence" by her parents and entitled to their financial support.
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