Florida student mistaken for teen who sued parents - WFLA News Channel 8

Florida student mistaken for teen who sued parents

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Rachel Canning, USF student, shares a name with the teen who's suing her parents for support Rachel Canning, USF student, shares a name with the teen who's suing her parents for support

A case of mistaken identity led to a USF student becoming the target of cyber bullies.

USF student Rachel Canning, 22, said she didn’t know much about the case involving an 18-year-old with the same name in New Jersey. The other Canning is suing her parents for financial support and tuition, after she claims she was kicked out of their home.

When the story hit the news Monday, Canning the USF student said she started getting Facebook messages.

“Ranging all the way from people sending me paragraph long messages lecturing me on how to live my life better, and telling me how I need to be a better person. All the way to people flat out saying 'I hope you get run over by a bus',” explained Canning.

Canning, who is expected to graduate from USF this semester with a double major in international studies and communications, said she was shocked to see the messages.

“I did write them back. I said they did have the wrong Rachel, but I also told them that I hope they don't reach the correct one and they really should think about what they send before they actually hit the button,” said Canning.

Canning, who has served as president of the Delta Gamma sorority, said the messages appeared on her USF Homecoming page, where she campaigned for votes. She responded to several of the messages.

“Most people either completely blocked me on Facebook, and some of them did write back and say ‘oops my bad," said Canning.

“I was really surprised at the fact that it wasn't really teenagers that were messaging me but it was adults pretty much," Canning added. "The bullies were middle-aged people who were taking time out of their day to attack this girl who they know nothing about."

Tonight at 6:  WFLA will have more about Canning’s story and how she is turning the negative into a positive.

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