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We are thrilled to help homeschooling families overcome discrimination.

Grad Goes to Jail … But It’s Not What You Think

by Tj Schmidt • September 24, 2019

Employers at a New Mexico detention facility did not want to consider a homeschool graduate for a job he was perfectly qualified for. We helped to open the door by demonstrating that homeschooling was a perfectly acceptable option under the law.

The graduate’s family—longtime HSLDA members—contacted us after the son was denied a job at the local facility because of his homeschool diploma.

After talking with the family and getting some information, I wrote to the human resources department of the detention facility. I explained that the family had complied with New Mexico law throughout their son’s homeschool program.

Closer Look at the Law

The family had already provided the potential employer with their son’s transcript and diploma. I pointed out that under state law the parents are the proper legal authority to verify their son’s completion of high school.

I added that New Mexico state law specifically prohibits state and public colleges from discriminating against homeschool graduates in their admissions policies. State law prevents these institutions from having an admissions policy that would require homeschool graduates to obtain a GED.

Finally, I reminded the detention facility that the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. military recognize that homeschool parents are eligible to certify their student’s completion of high school through a homeschool program. Congress has also stated that requiring homeschool graduates to obtain a GED could be seen as discriminatory. Shortly after receiving our letter, the detention facility hired the young man.

We were thrilled to help this homeschooling family overcome discrimination. And we would like to commend them for making our job easier by keeping good education records.


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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