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High school cheerleader sues parents over refusal to pay for college

Posted at 7:13 AM, Mar 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-04 07:13:45-05

MORRIS PLAINS, New Jersey (WCBS) - A New Jersey high school honor student has sued her own parents. Rachel Canning claimed her parents threw her out of their house and refused to pay for her college education.

"We're being sued by our own child," Sean Canning said about the lawsuit. "I am dumbfounded. So is my wife and other daughters."

Rachel Canning, a cheerleader at Morris Catholic High School, alleged her parents abandoned her when she turned 18. She said her parents now refuse to pay for college even though she was accepted into several universities.

"I know Rachel is a) a good kid and b) an incredibly rebellious teen, and she's getting some terrible information," her father said.

Dad said his daughter ran away from home away in November because she did not want to follow house rules.

"Living in our house, it is very few rules," he said. "There are minor chores, curfews. When I say curfew it is after 11 o'clock at night."

Rachel has been staying with her best friend, whose attorney father paid for the lawsuit. Attorney John Inglesino said the lawsuit was the only way Canning would be able to go to a college appropriate for her to become a bio medical engineer.

"I reject that question on that, the whole premise," Sean Canning said about the allegation he refused to pay for his daughter's education. "We have a college fund available, but it is the equivalent of shopping at a high end and sending us the bill."

Both sides are scheduled to be in court Tuesday. Rachel Canning asked the court not to emancipate her because under the law a parent has an obligation support their children if they can't stand on their own financially.