6 Times Privilege Went Wrong for White Families

A teen who dragged her parents to court over her tuition reminds us that kids’ entitled attitudes can mean wasted money and humiliation for the people who raised them.

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Alexandra Wallace

YouTube

Most times, the people who suffer as the result of entitled attitudes are the ones who, because of race and class, don't have them. But lately, privilege seems to be coming back to bite the wealthy parents who provided it, in the form of everything from court costs to hassles to humiliation. A New Jersey girl's lawsuit against her parents for her private school tuition is just the latest instance in which we can only imagine some moms and dads must be feeling as if elitist attitudes are the worst things they ever gave their children.

In some cases, providing your kids with what you think is the best of everything doesn't work out as planned.

1. When your kid decides it's reasonable to sue you for tuition.

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Rachel Canning

Facebook

"My parents ... should be required to provide for my support and education until I can stand on my own two feet," 18-year-old Rachel Canning said. A New Jersey judge denied her "request" (more like a demand) that her mother and father pay the remaining tuition for her last semester at her private high school, pay her current living and transportation expenses, commit to paying her college tuition and pay her legal fees for the suit she filed against them. Guess that before things with their relationship went south, they never talked to her about the possibility of taking out loans or doing work-study.

2. When people blame the way you raised your kid for his reckless conduct.

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Ethan Couch

YouTube

In the trial during which Ethan Couch—who drove drunk and caused a crash, killing four people and injuring two—avoided jail time, a witness claimed that Couch was a victim of "affluenza"—the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for him. As a result, although the teen didn't have to spend any time behind bars, his upbringing and accompanying attitude were in the national spotlight for at least a week.

3. When your kid's social media bragging about money gets your settlement snatched back.

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Dana Snay

Facebook

"Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver," Florida headmaster's daughter Dana Snay wrote in a Facebook post gloating about her father's legal win against his former employer. "Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT." The only problem: That settlement was supposed to be confidential, so upon learning of the breach, a court threw it out. No word on whether or not the vacation is still on.

4. When kids learn at their $10,000-a-year prep school that it's OK to destroy a home in a wild party.

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St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute

Google

Why would teens who were sufficiently well off to afford a $10,000-a-year education need to steal jewelry and cash after they trashed a house where a friend was cat-sitting? Unclear. But as they picked up the pieces, their parents had to have been asking themselves exactly what kinds of lessons those tuition bills were paying for.

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