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Leaving Home – Going to School

Can I go to school if I am not living at home?

Yes, you have the right to attend school in the school board district where you live. You will have all the same rights as an 18 year old. The school will need proof of your new address; and they may ask you for proof that you have withdrawn from parental/caregiver control. Call JFCY if the school is refusing to register you.

Sample letter for school:

<From: student’s name and full address>

<To: Principal’s name and school name/address>

<Today’s date>

Dear Principal ________,

My name is ________. I am writing this letter to inform you that I have withdrawn from parental/caregiver control. The legal information in this letter is from Justice for Children and Youth, a legal clinic in Ontario – www.jfcy.org

Under Ontario law, a 16 or 17 year old has the legal right to withdraw from parental/caregiver control and take over the incidents of custody pertaining to them, without the consent from their parents/caregivers or the involvement of the courts. Once the young person has left home, the custody rights end immediately.

Under the Education Act, the 16 or 17 year holds the rights of a parent/caregiver or adult student. This includes the right to enrol themselves in school where they live, be responsible for their own attendance and participate in disciplinary proceedings on their own.

A student who has withdrawn from parental/caregiver control is also entitled to privacy in their Ontario Student Records. In my case, I am now living separately and independently from my parents/caregivers and ask that you not share any information about me without my consent. Thank you for supporting me by respecting my rights under the Education Act.

Sincerely, {Student Signature} 

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