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Your 14-year-old daughter is working long hours at her part-time job. Your 16-year-old son was caught drinking beer at a party. Your youngest child is in trouble for marking up a school wall with graffiti. Do you know how the law addresses such situations? Do you even know what is—and is not—against the law when it comes to your children?



“Kids and the Law: An A-to-Z Guide for Parents” is designed to give you a basic overview of some of the laws that apply to children—laws created, in many instances, to help safeguard your youngsters at school, in part-time jobs and at play. This updated version of the guide can also help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a parent and assist you in answering your children’s questions about the law. It may also be useful to others, including teachers and social workers, for example, who work with young people in California.



The subjects are set out in a dictionary-type format with cross-references to other subject areas when appropriate. In some instances, we have noted the specific law for those interested in seeking more detailed information (see the key to the code abbreviations below). In addition, we have included a glossary to help demystify some of the legal terms that you may come across when dealing with the law.



Keep in mind, however, that this guide is intended to provide you with general information, not legal advice. Laws are constantly subject to change. If you have a specific legal problem, consult an attorney.



The Age of Majority

Alcohol and Kids

/ Bikes, Skateboards and Scooters

/ Cars, Kids and Traffic Laws
/ Child Abuse and Neglect /

Civil Laws and Lawsuits /

Criminal Law and Crimes / Curfew Laws

/ Drugs and Kids

/ Emancipation /

Fighting /

Gangs, Gang Colors and Dress Codes

/ Graffiti and Other Vandalism

/ Guns, Other Weapons and Fireworks

/ Hate Crimes and Hate Speech

/ The Internet, Cell Phones and

aComputers / Juvenile Court

/ Kids in Need of Supervision

/ Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities /

Police and Police Encounters /

Privacy and Kids /

Receiving Stolen Property /

Schools and School Rules /

Sex and Kids /

Smoking and Kids /

Stealing / Truancy /

Work, Work Permits and Taxes /

Legal Terms




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