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March 8, 2016

Disarming Discriminatory Policies


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Although homeschooling is widely accepted as an excellent alternative to public school education, discriminatory policies still prevent some homeschool students from pursuing their dreams. HSLDA recently helped resolve such a case involving a member family in Arkansas, who faced one of these discriminatory policies and its bureaucratic interpretation.

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Eleven-year-old Ivalynn Branum was told she could not compete in an Arkansas shooting competition because she was too young, despite the fact that 11-year-old public school students were free to participate. This discriminatory policy frustrated her father, and he placed several calls to try to fix the situation, to no avail. He was told that his daughter must be 12 before she could compete. Confused by this response and determined to keep fighting for his daughter, he asked HSLDA for assistance.

HSLDA Staff Attorney Dan Beasley emailed a letter to the program’s state coordinator, explaining how the policy unfairly discriminated against homeschool students such as Ivalynn. The state coordinator agreed with Beasley’s rationale and quickly decided to allow Ivalynn to participate. He also agreed to consider revising the policy for the benefit of other homeschool students who may want to participate in the future.

Beasley commended the coordinator for his prompt action. “His timely response to HSLDA’s letter was critical to a positive resolution for the Branums, since the registration deadline was just days away.”

It is unfortunate that this family had to rely on a letter from an attorney to receive fair treatment, but that is often the case when dealing with bureaucratic policies. HSLDA is committed to advocating on behalf of homeschool students and families facing discrimination. If you or friends of yours are not yet members of HSLDA, please join today!