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Fire Recruit Opposition Extinguished

by Tj Schmidt • March 11, 2020

Though homeschool graduates have worked toward earning a reputation as willing candidates for public service jobs, one department in a major city refused to consider any because of an outdated policy—until recently.

In the past few months, several members in Kentucky contacted us about the difficulty that their high school graduates were having in their applications to serve with the Louisville Fire Department. Several homeschool graduates had applied to become firefighters, but were rejected from continuing the process when officials learned that the graduates were homeschooled.

One HSLDA member family requested that we write a letter to the Louisville Metro Human Resources Department advocating that homeschool graduates, and their son in particular, should be treated as any other high school graduate.

In February I corresponded with the department, explaining that, according to Kentucky law, homeschool programs operate as private schools and are a perfectly legitimate educational option.

Perfectly Legal

I also wrote on behalf of the young man applying for a firefighter job. I confirmed that his family, longtime members of HSLDA, had at all times complied with Kentucky law. I pointed out that the young man had graduated from his homeschool program having earned 25 high school credits and that he had submitted his high school diploma and transcripts that were verified by his parents.

Within just a couple of weeks, the young man and his family were notified that “after reevaluation of Home School Diplomas/transcripts as verification of education, it has been determined that you do meet the minimum requirements for the position of Fire Recruit.”

At the same time, other homeschool graduates that we were in touch with were told their applications would move to the next step in the process. This means that these homeschool graduates will be allowed to participate in the physical skills course as the next step in the application process to hopefully serve one day on the Louisville Fire Department.

We expect the fire department to revise their policy and accept homeschool graduates on an equal footing with other high school graduates. This 180-degree change would not have come about without the persistent efforts of these homeschool families.

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt

Staff Attorney

Tj is an attorney and homeschooling dad dedicated to defending the rights of homeschooling families across the country. Read more.

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