Back when I was in high school, my mom, a single mother, died suddenly. I was 18, and just about to start my senior year.
My father was a no-show most of my life, so I moved to Austin to live with my aunt and uncle. Now, I’m NOT religious. I’ve been a self-decided atheist for most of my life. My aunt and uncle, though, are VERY religious. Part of the rules for me living there was that I should go to church with them every Sunday. I started my senior year at a completely new school, and started making all new friends.
Immediately, though, we started having problems. Here I was 18, and an atheist- and their oldest child was 8 at the time. Within a few months, I decided that I really would be much happier living on my own.
My mother had worked at NASA for, oh, 17 years. They had set up a trust fund for me- as long as I was unmarried, under 23, and in school, I got $180 a month. This money was going to my aunt and uncle, to help with the bills I helped run up. I figured I could use that money, get a part-time job, get a cheap apartment, and still stay in school- after all, I had less than a year to go at that point. So I told my family that I was looking for a new place to live…
Big mistake. I got called into the principal’s office on Monday. It seems that he goes to the same church, and my aunt and uncle had told him that I intended to live on my own. He told me that it was against school policy for students to live on their own, and as such, if I was going to move out of my relative’s house, I’d be kicked out of school.
I reminded him that I was 18- a legal adult. I even signed my own report card and permission slips!
He didn’t care, though, and sent me on my merry way.
I figured “to hell with this”, and started looking to get my GED, with the intention of going on to college. My aunt and uncle, of course, made sure that NASA found out that I was no longer in school- so that extra money got cut. As a result, I had to get a full-time job- which meant that college basically never happened for me. I got my GED a few years later.
Anyway, my question is: IS it legal for the principal to have kicked me out of school, simply because I was going to be living on my own? I’ve never understood this; don’t schools typically WANT to keep students in school?
I’ve often wondered what my life would’ve been like if I’d been able to finish high school and go directly on to college.