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Finishing high school as a runaway

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  • Finishing high school as a runaway

    I'm almost 17 live in Washington state and am planning to runaway but where I'm going would require me to switch highschools. How can I switch schools without parental consent?

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to NRS. Running away can be a stressful situation. It sounds like you have a plan set, but are not sure how to enroll in high school where you plan to go. You are taking a great step by making sure you know how to switch high schools ahead of time.

    While we are not legal experts, if you do run away, under McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act you might be able switch high schools. You can contact the National Center for Homeless Education Helpline at 1-800-308-2145 and press 3 to reach the hotline, or visit their website at for more information on this. It is important to note that if you do run away and a runaway report is filed on your behalf, if you are staying with someone they may be charged with harboring a runaway. Also, if a runaway report has been filed on your behalf and the police find you, they are obligated to take you home. You may also want to make sure that where you plan to go, you will have all of the resources you need.

    If you are needing to talk about your plan in greater detail feel free to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929), we are available 24/7. You may also chat with us at We will be happy to talk through your decision with you and figure out the best option. We wish you the best of luck and we hope this response was helpful. We encourage you to give your honest feedback of our services at . Stay safe!
    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!


    • #3
      I live in Iowa, I’m 16, I plan on running away but I want to finish high school. Is there a way to do that without my parents tracking me down ?


      • ccsmod13
        ccsmod13 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thank you so much for reaching out to us here at NRS through our public forum. It takes a lot of courage to do so and we are happy to help to the best of our ability. If you decide to run away from home and stay in the area to finish high school first, your parents can contact the local police and file a runaway report on you. And if the police happen to find you, it is possible that they would take you home. Even though this would not be ideal obviously with you wanting to leave home, this is the worst that could happen. It might also be helpful to reach out to a trusted family member or friend who would be able to help you out or take you in for a little bit. Something to keep in mind is that the police could come to their house, but so long as they cooperate with the police, it is very unlikely that they would suffer any disciplinary action on the part of the police. If you would like to talk more in depth, please contact us directly at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We are here 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible.

        Be safe,
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