Q: I have been trying to remove myself from a toxic household that is mentally and sometimes physically abusive for multiple years now. I’m turning 18 in a few days. Once I turn 18 I will be leaving to live in a safer environment. However, I will need to transfer schools. I have already spoken with my old school about re-enrolling and everything is in order. All that is left to do is un-enroll from my current school, but I’m not sure how I can do so without my parent’s signature/consent. Please help, my education and development depend on this. (McKees Rocks, PA)
A: Since you are age 18, you are an adult and do not need parental signatures. PA compulsory education ends at age 17. You can leave school on your own at age 17. If you have any further questions, call Kids Voice in Pittsburgh.
Q: When my 17 year old decides to drop out of school what legal action would be taken against us?My 17 yr old is insistent on leaving high school, due to severe health reasons preventing her from dealing with the stress of school, with plans in preparation for GED. We have been through everything discussion wise including the repercussions of only a GED or no diploma, having an IEP/504 in place, etc. But at her age she feels this is what she is entitled to choose to do. Since from what I can see she is old enough in the state of PA to do this I’m wondering if we will still be fined/taken to court for her truancy up to and including when this might happen?
A: In Pennsylvania, “Compulsory school age” refers to the period of a child’s life from the time the child enters school as a beginner which may be no later than at the age of 8 years, until the age of 17 or graduation from a high school, whichever occurs first.” 22 P.S. § 11.13. It is my understanding that a 17 year old child can sign themselves out of school.