When I was in the SO (left in 2000) the rule of thumb was if you were over 14, we got you a GED and parental consent to leave school, you were signed over to a "guardian" in the org (mine was the Captain) and then you went to work. If you joined prior to getting a GED (like I did) there was supposed to be a one-day-a-week school, but there wasn't. For a little while on Saturdays we went to the library and read whatever suited us and hung out.
If you were under 14, you had to be on "full time study" ie the Technical Training Corps, which everyone pretended was some kind of schooling but of course it's only in Scientology. You still worked at various chores but nominally you were only allowed to do about 20 hours a week, and you were supposed to be in bed earlier.
Of course this violates the child labor and schooling laws, but none of us knew that then. What we did know was how to stay under the radar of any officials, out of sight, and lie if cornered.
I remember one kid got picked up by the cops when he had "blown" (run away). We were all so proud of him for lying through his teeth, although the fact that they asked him repeatedly if he was beaten or starved kind of shocked us. (Who cares, anyway?) Of course the cops brought him back to the base. He was in a lot of trouble for causing that issue, even though it was put under wraps fast. I think he got kicked out, actually.
Somebody has to speak for these people.... no more running. I aim to misbehave.... If you can't do something smart, do something right. (Serenity)