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NJ teen sues parents for college tuition

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POSTED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 9:54am

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 9:57am

 A high school honor student and cheerleader is suing her own parents.

The teen claims her parents threw her out and are now making her foot the bill for college.

Her dad says it's not true.

"We're being sued by our own child. I am dumb founded. So is my wife and other daughters," said Sean Canning, the girl’s father.

His daughter Rachel Canning is an honor student and cheerleader at Morris Catholic High School in New Jersey.

In court papers, she alleges that her parents abandoned her when she turned 18 and that they are now refusing to pay for her to go to college, despite the fact she's gotten acceptance letters from several universities.

Her father tells a different story.

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

He claims she ran away in November because she didn't want to follow house rules.

"Living in our house there are very few rules. There are minor chores, curfews. When I say curfew, it is after 11:00 at night," Canning said.

Rachel did not want to be interviewed. She is staying with her best friend's family, attorney and freeholder John Inglesino. He is funding the lawsuit and said it's the only way the bright and focused teen will be able to go to a college appropriate for her to become a bio medical engineer.

Rachel, who has a $20,000 scholarship, says the University of Vermont, a private college, is her first choice.

“We have a college fund available, but it is the equivalent of shopping at a high end store and sending us the bill,” said Canning.

Rachel says she didn't run away but was given the option of dumping her boyfriend or getting out.

"Me and my wife are distraught."

Both sides will be in court on Tuesday. 

Rachel Canning wants the court not to emancipate her because under the law parents have an obligation to support their children if they can't stand on their own financially.

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