Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

March 7, 2014

‘Entitled’ N.J. teen needs a good round with parental ‘rod’

TAHLEQUAH — It’s a good thing State Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard sits on the bench in Morristown, N.J., rather than Cherokee County. Had he been presiding here over the case occupying his time these days, he might have turned Rachel Canning over his knee and paddled her behind.

Rachel’s parents may have reason now to regret their child-rearing methods, because at least on the surface, the girl seems to be spoiled rotten – or as we sometimes say in these parts, “rotten as an Easter egg in August.”

Like many teenagers, Rachel objected to rules set by her parents, who evidently took issue with her alcohol consumption and an objectionable boyfriend. Two days before she turned 18, Rachel ran away from home and declared herself free of parental constraints. But now, the flighty girl has come to her senses and realizes she can’t support herself without a lot of hard work, so she’s opted instead to sue her parents for $650 a week in child support, payment of the rest of her tuition at her Catholic high school, and of course, attorney’s fees.

Predictably, there are two sides to this story. The parents say Rachel was disrespectful, repeatedly broke curfew, wouldn’t do her chores, and hung out with an unsavory boy. Rachel claims her parents are abusive: She blames them for an eating disorder and says they “pushed” her to get a basketball scholarship. For their part, the parents say they helped her get over her eating disorder and paid for a private school so she could get more playing time on the basketball court.

We’ll never know the truth. Maybe the Cannings are lousy parents, but if pushing a child to excel is abuse, then any one of us would be guilty as charged. Where is the proof of abuse, and why wasn’t it mentioned before Rachel decided she needed some cash?

It seems more likely that the Cannings heaped another type of “abuse” on their daughter – by giving her everything she wanted, instead of everything she deserved. And now that she’s reached adulthood, she wants them to keep on giving. But the Cannings’ attorney says that while Rachel could go home anytime, she can’t have her cake and eat it, too. Since she “emancipated herself” and is now 18, her parents are not legally obliged to support her.

You have to feel sorry for poor old Judge Bogaard, who is as much a victim as anyone else. He denied Rachel’s initial petition, although the case isn’t dead in the water. And he pointed out such a lawsuit could lead to teens’ “thumbing their noses” at their parents, leaving home and them demanding money. He asked, “Are we going to open the gates for 12-year-olds to sue for an Xbox?”

When you consider how “entitled” many youngsters feel these days, you have to concede that’s exactly what could happen. And that’s one reason why, regardless of whatever background comes with this case, Rachel should not be awarded the money she seeks. Another reason is that some young people suffering from “failure to launch” syndrome might use the verdict to remain on the parental teat forever.

Most parents will financially help a needy and deserving adult child, if they can afford to do so, because it’s the right thing to do. That’s as it should be, not through force and legal action. In a case like this, the only ones who will benefit are, as usual, the lawyers.

Figuratively speaking, and to paraphrase the old nursery rhyme, the court should whip the girl soundly and put her to bed.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • NSU needs to be more candid when its plans go awry

    Many area residents were disappointed to learn this week that the NSU Fitness Center, and its all-important indoor lap pool, won’t open next month, as originally announced.
    This latest delay is no surprise.

    July 28, 2014

  • Higher premiums a just reward for drunken drivers

    Over the past several years, Oklahoma has slipped in many of the polls that count. This week, we learned Tulsa is No. 4 on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents. Is anyone really surprised?

    July 25, 2014

  • Maybe it’s time to think about having another BalloonFest

    The 18th annual BalloonFest was the last one held, in 2010. In summer 2011, when the Daily Press staff hadn’t heard anything about the much-anticipated event, we started asking questions.

    July 23, 2014

  • If you see a drunken driver, take the time to call in a report

    If you see something, say something. You’ve heard the warning, and seen it imprinted on placards at airports. In the wake of 9/11, it became a national mantra, mainly aimed at spotting potential terrorist activities. But it’s good advice anytime, and for any reason, even at the local level.

    July 14, 2014

  • City officials should stop squabbling and try to work together

    It’s bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce scandal has given Tahlequah a black eye. But if the bickering among city officials doesn’t stop, the community will have a complete set of shiners for its public face.

    July 11, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    Despite pressure from some quarters, neither the Press nor anyone else who values full disclosure will be clamming up until all the facts are known, and those who are responsible meet with justice.

    July 10, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    A few board members for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce are saying they’ve heard nothing but positive things lately – about the chamber itself, and presumably, about themselves.

    July 9, 2014

  • Employer-sponsored insurance may now be a ‘hostage’ situation

    When the fallout settles from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, many Americans might decide they’re better off with health insurance that doesn’t come from their boss.

    July 7, 2014

  • With confidence in Congress at 7 percent, time for a new slate

    Note to Congress: We don’t like you. Not at all.
    A Gallup poll released Monday, June 30 confirmed what most of us already know: the American public is disgusted with the House and Senate. The survey recorded the lowest level of confidence since Gallup began asking the question in 1991: a whopping 7 percent. That’s not a typographical error; it’s a single digit.

    July 2, 2014

  • New chamber head needs to be free from scandal’s taint

    Every time another layer is peeled off the unfolding saga of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce embezzlement case, those going through the records hope they might see a light at the end of the tunnel. So far, that hasn’t happened.

    June 30, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Stocks