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Can A Runaway Attend School?

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  • Can A Runaway Attend School?

    Hi,
    I'm 11 years old and I ran away from home about 3 weeks ago. I'm living far from my former state, but I want to attend school. Please do not persuade me to go home. Is it possible to go to school if you're a runaway? I don't really have someone to sign for my parent/guardian. Also, if I'm caught, are there any options that would allow me to remain in my current location? I really like the area I'm in currently and prefer to not go into foster care…

    Thank you,
    Anonymous Girl

  • #2
    RE: Can A Runaway Attend School?

    Hello,

    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard during this difficult time. It sounds like you have already run away from home. Are you staying somewhere safe? How have you been surviving? A resource that you might want to check out would be http://center.serve.org/nche/m-v.php which is the McKinny Vinto Homeless Assistance Act that states that homeless youth are legally allowed to still attend school. Have you talked to someone at the school you would like to attend about your situation?

    Do you think your parent/guardian has contacted the police and filed a runaway report? If they have, it basically means your name is entered into a national database stating that if found you are to be returned to your legal guardian. Although running away isn’t technically illegal, anyone that you would be staying with could possibly be charged with ‘harboring a runaway’. Have you looked into Justice For Children at http://justiceforchildren.org/ or call them at 1-800-733-0059, they may be able to advocate on your behalf if you left due to an abusive situation.

    We are available for you 24/7 and are anonymous, confidential and toll-free at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) as well as our live chat at www.1800runaway.org from 4:30 pm- 11:30 pm CST. We would like to be able to talk to you if you have any further questions. We are here to listen, and here to help. Best of luck,

    NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      How Do I Go About Enrolling?

      Yeah, I don't know if my parents have filed a report (I hope not.) They were really the ones that kicked me out in the first place, so I don't know why they would. Thanks for your concern. I am sleeping in a relatively safe place in the woods of a nice residential neighborhood, plus crime rates are astonishingly low in the city in which I have settled. How do you suppose I register for the school, though. I'm at a public library and it costs money to print the registration forms. Do I just waltz up to the school's principal and ask to enroll? Thanks for your input, by the way.

      Comment


      • #4
        RE: How Do I Enroll?

        Hello again,

        Some of the websites we provided earlier may be able to help answer your questions better than we can. Would you be able to call us? We can help you find shelters and explore what other options are available to you. It sounds like you have found some resources in your local area. We are available 24/7 and would love to talk to you further about your situation. Good luck and we look forward to hearing from you!
        -NRS
        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

        National Runaway Safeline
        [email protected] (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank You

          Thanks again for replying. I think I might be able to find a phone somewhere. I'm not so sure. I have a pay-to-go phone with me, but I have very limited minutes. I'll look into it, but isn't it illegal for a shelter to hold runaways? I mean, harboring runaway laws? I think if I can find a shelter, would they help me enroll in school? Thanks much!

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank You

            Hi,
            Thanks again for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard.

            We can only give you a generalization of what the policies of runaway shelters might be.
            A shelter/safe place may give you safe harbor for up to 24hrs however they may also require immediate parental or guardian contact.
            It really depends on the agency it’s self.

            As to your question about school enrollment that may also be best left to discuss with the agency shelter you might stay with.
            We invite you again to call out 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) 24hr crisis line and speak with one of our crisis liners about your situation.

            There may be services in your area that provide a shelter or a safe place so please take it into consideration contacting NRS.
            You may use a pay phone since you are trying to conserve your minutes on your cell phone.

            Please continue to be safe and we hope to hear from you.
            Take Care,
            NRS
            Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

            National Runaway Safeline
            [email protected] (Crisis Email)
            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

            Tell us what you think about your experience!
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't know what to do. My mom is crazy. She drives me insane and told me to leave. So I did, then she called the cops and told them I was a runaway. Will this be in my record. How do I result this?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re:

                Hi there,

                Thank you for contacting us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you have been going through a lot with your mom and we are sorry to hear about this. It sounds pretty difficult. We’re glad that you reached out, we’re here to support you.

                So you shared that your mom told you to leave home, but then she called the cops and said that you ran away. This sounds extremely frustrating. Has she ever kicked you out of the home before? One option you have is to call Child Protective Services and/or the police to report that you have been kicked out of your home. Because a runaway report has already been filed, it is not a guarantee that this report would be taken but it could be helpful to try to get this on record.

                We’re not legal experts here, but generally speaking if you leave without guardian’s consent, it is their right to make a runaway report. Running away is not illegal, it’s a status offense so typically all that happens is if a report is made, and the police find you, they just bring you back home. It sounds like you are not at home currently, are you in a safe place? If you are not, you can call us here and we can call out to shelters in your area with you. We want to make sure that you are safe.

                If you would like any legal assistance, you can call us at 1800runaway and we can locate legal resources near you. If you would like to talk through any other options, we are here to explore those with you as well. Please do not hesitate to reach out, we’re here to help.

                Good luck and stay safe,
                NRS
                Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

                National Runaway Safeline
                [email protected] (Crisis Email)
                1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
                Tell us what you think about your experience!

                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                Comment


                • #9
                  ..

                  Im a run away , on May 21 cps came ta my school n said my mom signed her rights over . So they took me , i jumped out the car ran was gone for about 5 hours got caught thy took me to safe place . I went to school the next day n ran after school when i was suppose to ride a bus back to safe place . i was gone for about 3weeks then my aunt seen me wanted me to turn myself in so she could get custody of me . I went back to safe place did my 21 days my aunt failed her drug test so she couldnt get me . They was gonna send me to foster care so i ran again . Now school starts next week n i dont wanna mis it . What will happen if i go to school? Please help me i need answers asap.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: ..

                    Hi there,

                    Thank you so much for reaching out to us. We’re here to help in any way that we can. It sounds like you’ve been going through a difficult time since May.

                    So it sounds like you have run away several times, from several different situations. You shared that your mom gave up custody of you to Child Protective Services which had to be a difficult thing to go through. Based on what you have shared, it seems like you do not want to be in foster care. Is there any particular reason that you do not want to be in foster care? If there is anything that has happened to you to make you feel unsafe, we want to let you know it is your right to make a report. If this is something you’d like to do but would like assistance, you can call us here at 1800runaway and we can help with that.

                    If you are feeling safe in foster care but just simply prefer to live elsewhere, do you think there are any options besides your aunt? It sounds like your aunt was going to be a nice alternative, and it is unfortunate that she was unable to pass the drug test. That’s got to be frustrating. Is there ever another chance to try again for your aunt?

                    We’re not experts here, so we cannot say for sure what would or would not happen if you went to school next week. Generally speaking, any runaway or homeless youth has the right to an education without question under the McKinney Vento Act. It is likely that they would let you stay in classes, but at some point relatively quickly after school has begun, the school would contact legal guardian or law enforcement if they suspect anything, or if you have not been enrolled.

                    We are happy to talk further about your situation if you would like, we’re here 24/7. We can also try to look up resources that would be applicable as well.

                    Good luck and stay safe,
                    NRS
                    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

                    National Runaway Safeline
                    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
                    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
                    Tell us what you think about your experience!

                    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thinking

                      Hi i am thinking of running away, I'm almost 18 in 10 months but i cant deal with my current home situation, I've been dealing with it since 5th grade and i want to get out, i already found out where i would stay, it is a safe place and i would be provided food and shelter and water all the good stuff. My parents haven't kicked me out but i cant deal with it. If i run away they would for sure call the cops, so i was wondering if i sign into schools as a run away, could the cops track me? and if yes, can i just change my identity/ names on those school papers? I'm about to start my second semester and i don't want to miss it just because I'm running away.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        RE: Thinking

                        Hey there,
                        Thanks for contacting us here at NRS. It sounds like you have a tough situation on your hands, but it also sounds like you have decent idea of what you want to do about it. It’s great that you were able to find someone who is happy to help you out in such a tough time. That is important to have somebody who is willing to help you out when you are in need. Have you talked to anybody about what is going on at home or your plans to leave? Whether it be talking to your parents directly about the situation or maybe a friend, close family member, or even a school counselor, they could might be able to help you figure some of this out. If talking to your parents by yourself is not an option maybe there is a close friend/family member who can help facilitate a conversation between you and your parents. This may be helpful in allowing you to express how you feel to your parents. If this is not an option, talking to your school guidance counselor could be a good idea in terms of being able to stay in school if you ran away.
                        Pertaining to the police, we are not legal experts here at NRS, however we are able to say that running away is not criminal. With that said, the consequences of it or how you do it, depend on state to state and sometimes county to county. This brings up the aspect of who you are staying with if you were to run away. Though running away itself is not illegal, the person you stay with could get in trouble for harboring a runaway. If you contact your local police department’s non-emergency line and ask very general questions about it they should be able to give you more information about it. We can also help you to make that call if you decide to call our hotline.
                        It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of how to make it if you do decide to leave, hopefully this information we provided will help answer some of your questions. Hopefully you are able to talk with your parents or friends and things can get better at home. If there is absolutely anything else at all that you may need, whether it be some more resources or even just somebody to talk to, we are here 24/7 for you at our toll free hotline 1800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or on our online live chat that is open from 4:30pm-11:30pm every day.
                        Best,
                        NRS
                        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

                        National Runaway Safeline
                        [email protected] (Crisis Email)
                        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
                        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Can A Runaway Attend School?

                          Im 16 and ive been a runaway for 4 months and running away is not illegal. anyways i got kicked out of valley high school for not showing up when i ran away and now its summer time so i dont know if im gonna be reclassified or whats going and i am not going back to that place thats so called home so how do i reegister for school next year

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            RE: Re: Can A Runaway Attend School?

                            Hi there,

                            Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. You're wondering about registering for school. You can best find out by reaching out to the homeless education liaison at your school or contacting state coordinators through the following sites http://center.serve.org/nche/states/state_resources.php and http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/sccontact.pdf. If we can help offer more resources or information please contact us soon. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

                            We hope to hear from you soon.

                            If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.

                            Be safe,
                            NRS
                            Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

                            National Runaway Safeline
                            [email protected] (Crisis Email)
                            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

                            Tell us what you think about your experience!
                            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am 15 and my parents hate me I don't want to be there anymore. They threatened to send me to a detention center as a possible runaway, if they do send me what can I bring to the detention center.

                              Comment


                              • ccsmod3
                                ccsmod3 commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Hello there and thanks for sharing a bit about your situation. We’re sorry to hear you feel like your parents hate you and they threatened to send you away to a detention center. That sounds stressful and it’s understandable you’d be looking at options away from home. We are not legal experts; however, typically detention centers are reserved for minors who are charged with crimes. Some states do have programs for at-risk youth (which can include youth who run away, are truant from school, or out of their parent’s control.) Often these programs are called “Child in Need of Services” or “Family in Need of Services” or a similar variation and are done through juvenile justice system.

                                If you do by chance end up in a detention center, they usually have pretty strict rules for what can be brought in and as much as we’d like to be able to tell you, we simply don’t know. We are here if you’d like to talk more about your situation and encourage you to try out our Live Chat starting today at 4:30pm CST. Good luck!
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