Reform Delivers Fairness to Aspiring Police Officers
by Dan Beasley • February 13, 2018
While working as a legal assistant here at Home School Legal Defense Association in 2009, I remember feeling frustrated on behalf of a homeschool graduate who was told he was not eligible to serve as a peace officer in Wyoming unless he took the GED.
He didn’t even have a chance of being hired for the position—regardless of his qualifications.
I researched the issue for Staff Attorney Mike Donnelly (my former boss and current colleague) and discovered that while common sense seemed to be on our side, a pesky regulation was not.
The minimum standards for peace officers required homeschool students to meet one of the following: (1) complete an accredited high school curriculum, (2) enroll at an accredited college, or (3) complete the GED.
Neither of the first two options worked well for the graduate. Thus, he was treated as if he never completed high school and was compelled to take the GED.
Eight years later
Eight years later (In 2017), the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST) proposed a change to the minimum standards for homeschool graduates. But the proposal would have made things worse—it eliminated option (2) above, leaving homeschool students aspiring to serve their community as peace officers with no choice but to use accredited curriculum or take the GED, even though using an accredited curriculum is neither mandated by Wyoming’s statutory standards for peace officers, nor required under the homeschool statute.
Upon learning of this, I asked Wyoming homeschoolers to take action and submit public comments in opposition to this proposal. And many did.
After the public comment period, POST updated its proposal to use the language we requested—homeschool graduates may now use a homeschool diploma and transcript to meet the minimum standards for Wyoming peace officers. This eliminates discrimination against homeschool graduates applying to serve.
This happy ending demonstrates the influence we can have when we all stand together and speak with unity.
Thank you for taking action to advance homeschooling and open doors for homeschool graduates.