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  1. #1
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    Jan 2018
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    Default When Can a Minor Drop Out of School Without Parental Consent

    My question involves juvenile law in the State of Massachusetts, specifically Lowell.

    I am having a lot of difficulty finding the laws that surround a 16 year old dropping out WITHOUT parental consent.
    From my research it seems that a 16 year old can drop out without parental consent in Massachusetts, which does not seem to make sense.

    What are a parent's options if this is the case? It would not benefit the child to just let the child do as they wish but on the other hand I do not believe they can kick a minor out of the home.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Massachusetts: 16 Year Old Dropout Without Parental Consent

    The state code requires any student subject to the ages as determined by the local school district to attend school. Any student who does not attend school (public or one of the private alternatives) as required is truant. Custodial parents are responsible to compel this attendance. Nothing in state law allows a student to drop out at 16 (with or without parental consent). I would contact the Lowell Public Schools for their district requirements.

    The parents option is to compel their custodial minor child to behave or suffer the consequences. Even if the school district allows students over 16 to not be compelled to attend, it is almost certainly at the custodial parents perrogative to compell them to do so (this is called being a parent) even if it is not otherwise required by law.


    I'm not sure what you are asking

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Massachusetts: 16 Year Old Dropout Without Parental Consent

    You need to call or go and talk to the counselor at the school your child attended. Do you have anything official stating your child has dropped out ? If your child has dropped out you need to make him enroll in GED classes ASAP.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Massachusetts: 16 Year Old Dropout Without Parental Consent

    I do not necessarily disagree with the previous posters but if the child has been enrolled in home schooling instead, as a way to finish high school, that would be legal. A non-custodial parent could challenge that and try to have the child ordered to return to regular high school, but in some instances it has been proven to be in the best interests of children to complete high school online.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Massachusetts: 16 Year Old Dropout Without Parental Consent

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I do not necessarily disagree with the previous posters but if the child has been enrolled in home schooling instead, as a way to finish high school, that would be legal. A non-custodial parent could challenge that and try to have the child ordered to return to regular high school, but in some instances it has been proven to be in the best interests of children to complete high school online.
    I had the impression the child was not taking any classes. Including online. Sorry if I misunderstood.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Massachusetts: 16 Year Old Dropout Without Parental Consent

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    The state code requires any student subject to the ages as determined by the local school district to attend school. Any student who does not attend school (public or one of the private alternatives) as required is truant. Custodial parents are responsible to compel this attendance. Nothing in state law allows a student to drop out at 16 (with or without parental consent). I would contact the Lowell Public Schools for their district requirements.

    The parents option is to compel their custodial minor child to behave or suffer the consequences. Even if the school district allows students over 16 to not be compelled to attend, it is almost certainly at the custodial parents perrogative to compell them to do so (this is called being a parent) even if it is not otherwise required by law.


    I'm not sure what you are asking
    It would seem the consequences are not all that serious:

    Section 2. Every person in control of a child described in section one shall cause him to attend school as therein required, and, if he fails so to do for seven day sessions or fourteen half day sessions within any period of six months, he shall, on complaint by a supervisor of attendance, be punished by a fine of not more than twenty dollars
    I sure hope there is something more than that the courts can do.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Massachusetts: 16 Year Old Dropout Without Parental Consent

    The point I believe is being sought by the OP is that a 16 year old can say, "I'm dropping out of school" and even if the school district is okay with it, the parents of the minor child who has not yet reached the age of majority are free to say, "Like hell you are. Get your ass to class right now and I'll be calling to confirm that you made it there".

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Massachusetts: 16 Year Old Dropout Without Parental Consent

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    The point I believe is being sought by the OP is that a 16 year old can say, "I'm dropping out of school" and even if the school district is okay with it, the parents of the minor child who has not yet reached the age of majority are free to say, "Like hell you are. Get your ass to class right now and I'll be calling to confirm that you made it there".
    Is the OP saying the child has officially dropped out and they were not notified when the child told the school they were dropping out ? I can't imagine a child being able to do this without the parents being notified first.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Massachusetts: 16 Year Old Dropout Without Parental Consent

    I don't know, Mercy. I'm just answering the question I believe the OP is asking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Default Re: Massachusetts: 16 Year Old Dropout Without Parental Consent

    Yes that was my question cbg. Thanks so much for everyone's responses and I apologize for the delayed response. Unfortunately the child is not my own but I am just getting a lot of conflicting responses from different resources. I am going to suggest the parent only provide the child the minimal amount of resources necessary if the school allows the child to drop out and they do not seek alternative education or occupations. The child is only 15 but has stated that they will go against their mother's wishes and drop out when they turn 16. My concern is that it is neglect if they kick the minor out of the home.

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