January 21st, 2015

alien <3
  • allekha

Education for teens who have never been to school

Setting: early summer, modern-day Mid-Atlantic United States
Situation: Five minors (three young teens, two much younger children; oldest is fifteen, youngest is six) show up in the emergency room; two of the teens have been injured in an accident. They claim to be adopted siblings, but are unable to provide any contact information for family, details on where they live, etc. It soon comes out that the five of them are escaped genetic experiments (they have the physiological oddities to prove this) with no legal identities. They have been living on their own, trying to avoid being found again. Police and protective services are called and the kids are placed in foster homes.

My main problem is figuring out how their education is going to be handled when they've never been to school. The three teenagers can do arithmetic, and two of them can read, though they're not great at it. The other is blind and hasn't been taught Braille, orientation skills, etc. The two other children have been taught their alphabet by the older kids and know how to spell their names, but that's about it. The youngest is young enough to go into kindergarten, but the next-youngest is nine. Would she just be put in first grade, maybe with the hope that she can eventually catch up, or? And what would the school system do with the teenagers?

Additional info: Most of the kids have some physical issues, but all of them have at least normal intelligence. The teens are not going to be happy with the idea of going to school and will need some persuading; in particular, the three of them are very attached to one another and won't want to be separated during the day.

Research: I looked through the tags on adoption, social services, and USA education. I searched variations of 'teenagers who have never been to school' and 'parents not letting children go to school', and tried looking up education of unaccompanied asylum seeker minors on the off chance it would be helpful. I also read a lot of education-related Wikipedia articles. I haven't really been able to find anything that applies to my situation.