What about teenagers? Can they leave school before turning 18?

If a child is 16 or older AND:

1. Is regularly employed, and the parent agrees the child should not be required to attend school, or the child is emancipated;

2. Has already met graduation requirements; or

3. Has received a GED

then the child is not required to continue to attend school. You can find the details about this exception, and other parts of the Washington State truancy law at RCW 28a.225, available online at: http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=28a.225&full=true.

Remember, youth have a right to access free public school until they are 21 years old, or until they graduate. There are an increasing number of options for young people who are looking for alternatives to a traditional high school but still want to earn their high school diploma. Ask a school counselor for information on options in your area or give us a call here at OEO at 1-866-297-2597, and we can help look for options.