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Sun Jul 19, 2015, 05:38 PM

An unwilling truant

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice. My neighbor's 16 year old grandson is spending the summer with her. I have known him for10 years. He comes down to chat from time to time. He has told me several times he is home schooled. Recently he admitted he has been out of school for 2 years and that there has been no home schooling. He now talks a lot about wanting to go back to school. A couple of days ago he was here and his mother called him on his cell phone. He said he wanted to come home...answer not now. Then he said he wanted to go back to school this year. This was not well received. He argued a bit then agreed to talk about it later. I feel certain later will not come or the results will be the same. I could write a book about the disfunctional traits of this family. Drugs, alcohol, divorces, merry go round of live in girl/boy friends, physical and sexual abuse.

I would really like to see him back in school so maybe responsible adults might be a part of his life. Of course, without further education he is pretty much screwed even if he didn't have all the family baggage to lug around. I don't know either of his parents. His grandparents think he is being home schooled. They don't seem interested in running any interference for him.

What would you do?

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply An unwilling truant (Original post)
alfie Jul 2015 OP
eridani Jul 2015 #1
elleng Jul 2015 #2
Smarmie Doofus Jul 2015 #3
Igel Jul 2015 #4
alfie Jul 2015 #5
Nay Jul 2015 #6
alfie Jul 2015 #7
cullen7282 Jul 2015 #8
alfie Jul 2015 #9

Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Jul 19, 2015, 05:40 PM

1. Is he in a position to be an emamcipated minor?

If so, he could decide to enroll on his own.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Jul 19, 2015, 05:47 PM

2. I'd contact the local authorities, state or whatever,

explain the situation, suggest anonymity is necessary if it is, and if not, provide what specific location info you have. I'm not up on this but I suspect that MOST states/jurisdictions provide some sort of oversight for the 'home-schooled.'

This is clearly an important public policy issue and we ALL are responsible to see to it that future generations are able to take the reins of their lives.

Good luck.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Jul 19, 2015, 05:57 PM

3. Excruciating.

 

Perhaps a call to Child Protective Services? ( That's what they call it here. YMMV)

It's illegal for him NOT to be schooled.

Are the grandparents a mess too? If not, maybe they can make the call? Any non-crazy aunts/uncles in the picture?

Thanks for taking an interest.

What a world.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Jul 19, 2015, 06:59 PM

4. The state matters.

In some states, it's illegal.

In other states, regulated. Sometimes greatly, sometimes only moderately.

In a state like Texas, if the parents have the merest hint of a suggestion of an outline of a whiff of a curriculum, that's fine.

It's also a question of whether the kid's telling the unvarnished truth or exaggerating. I'm guessing he's not.

Contact child protective services. An alternative would be any high school principal in the state; they'd know the law, and if they're going to err it'll be on the side of being too aggressive in actions against homeschooling.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Jul 19, 2015, 07:25 PM

5. Thanks for the answers

I only know his father's side of the family and they are all messed up. Part of my issue with reporting this is that he is not from this area. He will be moving in the next couple of weeks but doesn't know where. We both live in the state of Georgia and he will probably stay within the general area where he was.

I am thinking I may try to get him to promise me that he will call the school he wants to attend when he gets home and try to talk to someone there. Maybe a counselor. I believe he will keep in touch with me if I ask him to. He always visits me when he is in town but I have never given him my phone number so he could call when he is away. I could at least find out what county he ends up in and maybe call protective services there.

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Response to alfie (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 19, 2015, 07:47 PM

6. Is the grandmother a mess, too? Would she be willing to allow him to live with her and

go to school in your area? I'm thinking that he could def benefit from your guidance and interest; seems like he turns to you for normal adult interaction.

Relieving him of his crazy relatives would be a blessing.

Have you talked to him about any of these ideas? He's 16, I would def talk to him before he leaves. Give him an idea of what things are possible and ask which he would like to do and offer to call the relevant school/authorities to ease him into high school.

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Response to Nay (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 19, 2015, 08:18 PM

7. Grandmother is a mess as well.

She is his father's mother and she fills the role of enabler in the family. For instance, his father lives with her, stays drunk a lot of the time. The boys aunt lives in the same apartment bldg and stays spaced out on methadone most of the time.

Good idea for me to volunteer to call the school for him.

Thanks

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:05 AM

8. Contact children's services in his state.

I worked in a middle school and had a student whose mother didn't bring her in for the first month of school. Someone turned her in to children's services. There was a caseworker assigned through the local juvenile system who made sure the student went and stayed in school along with providing the family with other services they were in need of and an advocate for the student (who is special needs). It may turn out to be very beneficial for the whole family.

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Response to cullen7282 (Reply #8)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:14 AM

9. Hi Cullen, thanks for your advise

I have contacted a social worker in a nearby county who is a friend of a friend. One issue right now is that the boy and his mother are in the process of moving. She hasn't found a house to rent yet. I am going to try to keep in touch with him if he leaves here before he knows where he is going to be living. These cases are handled on a county by county basis. The social worker will help me get to the right person once we know what county he ends up in.

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