Speak Up! - View Question #443
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Question: Can a 16 year old dropout?
No. Arizona law (A.R.S. § 15-803) states that 'It is unlawful for any child between six and sixteen years of age to fail to attend school during the hours school is in session.' So, a kid must be over 16 years of age to legally drop out of school.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule (A.R.S. § 15-802). If a kids is 16 or under, he can legally not attend school only if he and his parents prove to the school's principal that:
1. The child is in such physical or mental condition that instruction is inexpedient or impracticable.
2. The child has completed high school studies necessary for completion of grade ten.
3. The child is over fourteen years of age and is, with the consent of the person who has custody of him, employed at some lawful wage earning occupation.
4. The child is enrolled in a work training, career education, vocational or manual training program which meets the approved standards.
5. The child is either: (a) Suspended and not directed to participate in an alternative education program. (b) Expelled from a public school.
7. The child is enrolled in an education program provided by a state institution.
Special Thanks to the Arizona Department of Education for assistance answering this question.