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September 11, 2015

Bloody Battle Ends in Victory

Staff Attorney Darren Jones is a member of HSLDA’s litigation team, which helps homeschool families who are facing legal challenges. He and his wife homeschool.

Homeschool graduate Jephanie Barnes had been trying for months to get her state certification as a phlebotomist (a healthcare worker who specializes in drawing blood).

As California law requires, she took a post-high school class to learn the theory of puncturing veins. She took a test to prove she knew what she was doing. And she practiced her skills by sticking needles into people’s arms and drawing their blood.

But the Department of Health denied her application, saying that only graduates of “accredited” high schools can be certified. Jephanie’s homeschool umbrella program wasn’t accredited, so the department told her she had to take the GED.

Making a Case

HSLDA attorney Darren Jones has been working with Jephanie, fighting on her behalf with the Health Department. When she was first rejected, we wrote to the department, explaining that the law didn’t say anything about a diploma being “accredited,” and that she did not have to submit a GED or proof of graduation from any particular kind of school. They turned her down again, so we requested a hearing.

Suddenly we were asked to send a new copy of her already submitted high school transcript signed by the umbrella school’s registrar. And last week, the department issued Jephanie her certificate! She is now free to start her career as a vampire (sorry—we mean phlebotomist).

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