Can Parents Force Kids to Go to a Military School?

Yes, parents can force minor children to attend military school. In the U.S., most states require children between the ages of 6 and 16 to receive formal education.

Public school is the usual selection, but, in most states, parents can choose the educational method for their children. However, caring parents will take steps to make sure that their child receives the best possible education for his personal needs, skills and talents.

Compulsory Attendance Law

Federal law concerning elementary and secondary education, Subpart 1 -- Basic Program Requirements, Sec. 1111. State Plans, requires that all states desiring federal grant money must submit a plan, which usually includes compulsory education requirements. These requirements vary from state to state but in general require children between ages 8 and 14 to attend school. Some states list the youngest age as 5, and some the oldest age as 18.

Most states, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association, provide for educational alternatives to public school. Accredited military schools can qualify as one of those alternatives.

School Choice

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Children are not necessarily in control of where or how they are educated. However, there are certain basic rights, as outlined by UNICEF, that should be awarded to all children.

Those rights are the right to a safe childhood, the right for both boys and girls to be educated, the right to be healthy, the right to be treated fairly and the right to be heard.

This means that, regardless of what type of school your child attends, these basic rights should be guaranteed. As a parent, you should be your child's best advocate, keeping close tabs on what occurs in your child's school.

Military School Explained

Military schools are educational institutions that provide military training, according to Military School Alternatives. At one time, youngsters could be enrolled in military boarding schools as early as age 7. In more recent times, enrollment in the U.S. is geared more toward high school or early college ages. Although enrollment in military school is often held out as punishment for incorrigible youth, military schools are actually highly selective about the students they accept, and they do not have counseling and other forms of support that troubled children might need to help them with their problems.

Selecting Alternative Schools

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Military school could be an excellent choice for a child who is part of a family with a strong military tradition or one who wants to have a military career. If your child is struggling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or other behavioral disabilities, your best bet is to discuss the problem with your local school counselor who might be able to put you in touch with alternative schools that are structured to help him. If your local school counselor is unable to assist you, talk to your pediatrician and to organizations that specialize in your child's particular issue.

If getting your child to go to school is a daily struggle, you will want to learn why. Begin your investigation by listening to your child.