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View Full Version : Is it possible to register to a new school at 16 without parents?



Soothing Snow
09-24-2010, 05:45 AM
Hi! I'm starting to work on another story about a abused girl who's a runaway. She goes from Washington to Alaska and I'm wondering if she can pull off registering at a high school without her parents? Like forge their signatures on the paper?

Also, if done right can she buy an airplane ticket and fly there? Thanks! If confused just ask and I'll try and give whatever details I have so far...


~Snow

Cyia
09-24-2010, 05:50 AM
She'd have to either be emancipated or have a way to make it appear as though she had parents. There's also the issue of her needing ID, and her birth certificate, and her school records from where she ran off from.

Assuming she can pull off the "I refuse to tell" bit, and doesn't have a record where her prints are in the system, she could approach child services as a runaway and then go into foster care or a group home until she aged out. they pick up runaways without ID and papers all the time. They'll try and find her family, though.

Soothing Snow
09-24-2010, 05:58 AM
She'd have to either be emancipated or have a way to make it appear as though she had parents. There's also the issue of her needing ID, and her birth certificate, and her school records from where she ran off from.

Assuming she can pull off the "I refuse to tell" bit, and doesn't have a record where her prints are in the system, she could approach child services as a runaway and then go into foster care or a group home until she aged out. they pick up runaways without ID and papers all the time. They'll try and find her family, though.If she gets emancipated can she still move out of the state?

Cyia
09-24-2010, 06:31 AM
If she's emancipated, she's got all the rights of a legal adult. She's responsible for herself, so yes, she can live wherever she wishes.

GeorgeK
09-24-2010, 04:36 PM
If she's emancipated, she's got all the rights of a legal adult. She's responsible for herself, so yes, she can live wherever she wishes.

except for purposes of buying alcohol or other age things, like voting, but they can join the military...I think...or I was lead to believe...maybe

Linda Adams
09-24-2010, 04:43 PM
except for purposes of buying alcohol or other age things, like voting, but they can join the military...I think...or I was lead to believe...maybe

The earliest someone can join the military is at 17--that's with parental permission (don't know what the regs would be on emancipated). They won't take someone who's younger.

Cyia
09-24-2010, 07:59 PM
except for purposes of buying alcohol or other age things, like voting, but they can join the military...I think...or I was lead to believe...maybe


Right. She'd be legally afforded the rights of an American 18 year-old, which would mean no alcohol as the legal age is higher. No idea about military service, but the age limit there is probably still in effect regardless of emancipation status.

ajkjd01
09-24-2010, 08:46 PM
There's a lot of things a minor can do with parental permission that they cannot do because of age without that permission.

Without getting into all of that, there is the slight problem that if your teenager was reported as a runaway, there might be a runaway warrant out for their arrest. They could face unruly charges for being a runaway. And anyone who helps them could face charges for contributing to the unruliness of a minor.

Guess what? Falsification and forgery could be charges she could face as well.

If your real question is whether she can pull it off, then I would say that it depends on whether she just has to bring in signed forms or whether a parents must accompany her to the school in order to register her. It might be worth making phone calls to the schools in the area where she would be to ask what their procedure is, to determine whether she can physically pull it off, or whether it is impossible to do so without someone standing in as a parent.

Chris P
09-24-2010, 09:05 PM
It might depend on the state. In Mississippi, a child can drop out of school at 17 without parental permission, so I imagine it could be 16 somewhere and enrolling in a school would be the same.

Medievalist
09-24-2010, 09:23 PM
I did; I simply had to supply proof that I lived in the county.

RJK
09-25-2010, 01:12 AM
Slightly off topic, but how is this 16 YO supposed to keep a roof over her head and eat? I'd think those would be her first hurdles.

spike
09-28-2010, 01:08 PM
I just moved and had to register my daughter in a new school. We live in Pennsylvania. I had to provide them with:

Birth Certificate
Shot Record
Copy of my lease
Copy of my moving permit
Copy of the Certificate of Occupancy for the house I'm renting
Copy of my driver's license
A bank statement (still in the envelope, the didn't copy the statement, just the statement in the envelope to show where I was getting my mail)
A utility bill (once again, just in the envelope)

Clair Dickson
09-28-2010, 01:26 PM
At the adult/ alternative high school program where I work, we take students who are no longer enrolled at a "traditional" (regular) high school-- usually those who have dropped out or would otherwise drop out. They can enroll as young as 16 for high school completion, but any student under 18 must have a parent present when they enroll. Even though they can legally drop out, they apparently can't enroll themselves in a new school.

As for room and board, as RJK asked, some hotels, etc are really lax about checking those things (even around here we have one or two no-tell motels that don't want to know.) And a fake ID could help with any place that doesn't care to look too closely. For food, many minors can get jobs and some of them pay pretty well if you can get good work. Just have to watch out for laws restricting student hours, but again some places don't care and will work a minor as many hours as they can. Or, if the minor is NOT enrolled full time in school, they can work full time. These are easier obstacles to surmount, I think, than enrolling in a new school.

NOt sure if it's the school setting you want for your story, Soothing Snow, but if you're just looking to have your character finish high school, there are online schools that offer high school completion. They, obviously, can't require a parent present for enrollment, so it might be easier to get in and get finished with school. Or just have her take the GED test to be done with it. Some other options.

And for the plane ticket, I wonder if she could buy the ticket online and set up flying as an unaccompanied minor?

shadowwalker
09-28-2010, 06:13 PM
And for the plane ticket, I wonder if she could buy the ticket online and set up flying as an unaccompanied minor?

Even unaccompanied minors have to be escorted to the airlines by a parent or "responsible adult", and there is additional paperwork required. But most airlines make the unaccompanied minor programs optional for children over the age of 12, so she could travel by herself without any parental involvement. She can even purchase tickets and get her boarding pass. But to do this online, she'd have to have a credit card - and even in person, the airlines might question a ticket purchase with cash. *Might*. But I don't think it would be that difficult.

ajkjd01
09-28-2010, 06:43 PM
Just something to think about...

buying a ticket in cash, in person, could trigger Homeland Security to step in, as well.

Clair Dickson
09-28-2010, 06:49 PM
As for a credit card-- can she use a bank card? Many banks have credit/ debit cards that can work like a credit card, but it just debits the money from your account. I know I got mine when I was 17. I could use it anywhere Visa was accepted-- including the internet-- but the money was debited from my bank account rather than being paid off later.

shadowwalker
09-28-2010, 07:42 PM
As for a credit card-- can she use a bank card? Many banks have credit/ debit cards that can work like a credit card, but it just debits the money from your account. I know I got mine when I was 17. I could use it anywhere Visa was accepted-- including the internet-- but the money was debited from my bank account rather than being paid off later.

It would depend on the state. Some states have laws making the contract with the bank enforceable even for minors; others don't (ie, the minor would be responsible for fees, overdrafts, etc). Debit cards would, as you say, work along with the bank account, so it would depend on state law. Credit cards are typically "linked" to a parent rather than granted directly and separately to the minor.