April 24, 2013

Sheriff’s Training Academy Opens Door to Homeschooler

Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Missouri. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

After finishing high school through a homeschool program, Ed Zack (name changed for privacy) got some college under his belt and then applied to Training Academy of the Missouri Sheriff’s Association.

After submitting a transcript of his high school and college work, a representative of the academy wrote and told him the transcripts were not sufficient. She asked him to send additional documents: (1) a written record of subjects taught in high school; (2) a portfolio of high school work samples; and (3) a record of high school evaluations.

Missouri statute §105.255.1 requires, in effect, that state and local government agencies treat the high school diploma and transcript of a homeschool graduate employment applicant with the same dignity as those of a public or private school graduate. The unusual demand for three categories of records was unnecessary and discriminatory.

Taking Action

Members of HSLDA since 1994, Ed’s family asked us for help. HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott A. Woodruff spoke with the representative of the training academy who wrote the letter. When that did not resolve the issue, he spoke with the licensing supervisor of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Agency within the Missouri Department of Public Safety. When that conversation failed to bring closure, he spoke with the general counsel of the Department of Public Safety.

Shortly thereafter, the Training Academy dropped its demand for three categories of additional records and accepted Ed. We appreciate their willingness to reconsider their initial approach.

Missouri statute §105.255.1 is on the books today because of the diligent work of Brad Haines and Families for Home Education (FHE) as well as other involved homeschool families and advocates. Much of the credit for this favorable outcome goes to them.

Bearing in mind that this statute does not apply to private employers, HSLDA urges Missouri homeschool families to maintain the three categories of records required under law for each child until he or she is well established in his vocation or career. While our experience has been that employers are delighted to hire honest, hard-working homeschool graduates, it can’t be ruled out that the one employer for whom your child might want to work could be the “outlier” that demands to see four years of high school records.

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Protect Your Family

If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support for our work enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>