Across the States
Chickasaw Nation Quickly Reverses Homeschool Discrimination
Home School Legal Defense Association member Sara Johnson (name changed to protect privacy), a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation living in Texas, called us for help after she learned that her children were ineligible this year for the Chickasaw Honor Club. The Chickasaw Honor Club is a program that provides incentives to encourage all Chickasaw students to strive for academic excellence. Honor Club members receive cash prizes and other recognition.
In past years, the Honor Club had been open to homeschoolers. However, this year, it began requiring homeschoolers to use an “accredited curriculum” in order to qualify for membership. In addition, homeschoolers were excluded completely from the Honor Club’s Perfect Attendance awards.
HSLDA Attorney Darren Jones wrote to Governor Bill Anoatubby, leader of the Chickasaw Nation, on behalf of our member. Jones explained that homeschoolers are not required, in any state, to use an accredited curriculum. He also pointed out that there should be no reason for a homeschooler to be excluded from competing for the Perfect Attendance awards.
As soon as Governor Anoatubby received the letter, he responded that the program would be changed. Less than three weeks later, we received notice that the Chickasaw Nation had restored the homeschool-friendly guidelines for the Honor Club and the Perfect Attendance award, and Sara Johnson’s children were once again able to receive the incentives they had earned.
— by Thomas J. Schmidt