Moved from school to school, fewer than 1 in 4 foster kids graduate — that’s worse than homeless kids
May 24, 2018
Her desk was vacant for a week when high school physics teacher Marcus Pennell began to worry.
After Pennell asked a counselor at Ralston Valley High School what happened to the introverted and studious 16-year-old, he learned something about Emily Murray he hadn't known all year.
She was a foster kid.
And Emily was headed to another foster placement, in another county, to another high school.
Emily and three other foster teens had just been yanked from the Arvada home of a woman accused of spending her foster stipend on her grandchildren instead of buying the teens enough to eat. The freezer was full of frozen food they weren't allowed to touch. Emily had depleted her savings from her summer job at the YMCA buying meals, shampoo and other basics, and she alerted officials about the problems.
No foster homes in Arvada wanted the troubled, depressed girl who had just caused enough of a ruckus to get four kids transferred out of a placement. Her next move would mean her third high school.
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But her physics teacher went home and told his wife, an elementary school principal, that the girl needed a home.