Updated Wednesday, 9:40 a.m.:

In a hearing in Morristown, N.J., on Tuesday, a Superior Court judge refused to order Canning’s parents to pay for Rachel Canning’s financial expenses, according to the Star-Ledger. Read more here.

Original Story:

In what is sadly an all-too-predictable response to a New Jersey teenager who sued her parents for college tuition and living expenses, angry social media users are taking to Twitter to scold -- and in some cases viciously attack -- the young lady in question.

Rachel Canning, the 18-year-old cheerleader dubbed an “incredibly rebellious teen” by her father, has turned her Twitter account private in the face of profanity-laden onslaughts by fellow tweeters who have deemed the high school honor student a spoiled poster child for an entitled generation.

The ongoing twitch hunt began amid reports that Canning, a senior at the preparatory Morris Catholic High School in Denville, filed a lawsuit against her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, who she says threw her out of the house in October. Her father, conversely, told the local Daily Record newspaper that she left voluntarily because she didn’t want to live by house rules. He said he is “heartbroken” by the lawsuit. Canning has been living with a friend in nearby Rockaway Township, the paper reports. The friend’s father, attorney John Inglesino, is reportedly funding the lawsuit.

The harsh tweets aimed at Canning are, of course, not unusual at a time when the heroes and villains of viral news stories are designated almost instantly in the court of public opinion. A cached version of Canning’s Twitter account revealed that her last public tweet was on Feb. 28, when she wrote that stress was turning her grey at an early age.

In a similarly familiar twist, some of Canning’s Twitter critics have not even bothered to make sure they have the right person before weighing in. Throughout much of the afternoon on Tuesday, at least one other Rachel Canning found herself fending off a series of tweets aimed at her phonetic doppelganger. “Wrong person,” she tweeted repeatedly.

Tucked subtly between the social media attacks, Canning had a few defenders who pointed out that there are better ways to voice opposition than resorting to the Twitter bully pulpit.

According to the Record, Canning’s lawyer is seeking funds for immediate support, college tuition, an outstanding bill for Canning’s high school, and more than $12,000 in legal fees. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in Morristown, about 32 miles west of New York City.

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