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3/15/2004 2:51:08 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Jersey--Letters Needed--Cosmetology Board Postpones Decision

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 12, 2004


New Jersey--Letters Needed--Cosmetology Board Postpones Decision


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

On Tuesday, March 9, the New Jersey Cosmetology Board postponed a
decision whether to allow homeschool graduate Laura Byrne to take the
cosmetology examination she needs for her license.

Sherrill Byrne, Laura's Mom, spoke to the Board for about twenty
minutes and carefully explained the high school program that Laura
had received. She even offered the Board four years worth of lesson
plans.

Although the Board certainly had enough information to decide on the
spot to allow Laura to take the test, they postponed their decision.
The Board indicated they would decide after she finishes cosmetology
school (about April 15).

Phone calls in support of Laura poured into the Cosmetology Board
office so fast on Monday that the receptionist could barely answer
them. The Board knows that thousand of homeschoolers across the state
are watching!


Action Requested:

Please write a letter to the Cosmetology Board in support of Laura.
Our E-lert of March 8 contains background information you may use in
your letter. Letters to the Board before their next meeting in April
will remind them that we are not dropping this issue. Mail your
letter to: Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling, P.O. Box 45003,
Newark, N.J. 07101,

We are trying to establish contact with individual members of the
Board. If you know any of them personally, or how to contact them
individually, please let us know immediately. They are:

Ms. Kathleen M. Alexander,
Ms. Patricia Graffin,
Mrs. Frances Gray,
Mr. Peter Macri,
Mr. Carlo Melini,
Mrs. Rose Policastro,
Mr. Joseph Santagata,
Mr. Ronald J. Brown,
Ms. Elaine C. Haroldson, and
Ms. Lynn Rasiewicz


Background:

After graduating from high school in a homeschool setting last
summer, Laura followed her dream and enrolled in a cosmetology
school. Out of an abundance of caution, she asked the board that
governs cosmetologists to confirm that her homeschool education would
be satisfactory toward receiving a license to practice cosmetology.
To her shock and dismay, Executive Director Richard Griswold told her
she would have to get a GED.

At the family's request, HSLDA stepped in to help this member family.
Over the course of the next several months, HSLDA sent numerous
letters to Griswold, and the Byrnes sent may documents to support
their case: the diploma itself, a full high school transcript,
letters of recommendation from her teachers in cosmetology school, a
transcript of her cosmetology grades (which were excellent), and even
letters from satisfied customers.

Griswold was unmoved. He sent two more letters reiterating that the
board would accept nothing less than a GED.

HSLDA prepared a formal legal memorandum explaining in detail why the
board should allow Laura to take the exam, and prepared affidavits
from the family. On Monday, March 8, HSLDA asked members all across
New Jersey to call cosmetology board members and ask them to treat
Laura fairly.

By the end of the day, a ray of light appeared. Griswold and his
attorney placed a conference call to HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff.
They explained that no final decision had yet been made-or could be
made, because Laura had not yet formally applied to take the exam.
She could not, in fact, until after her graduation in April, he
explained. Though he made no commitment, the general tone of the
conversation was definitely more conciliatory than the previous
correspondence.

Only time will tell whether this is the light at the end of the
tunnel or the flash before the door slams shut. Laura and her family
are deeply grateful for all the homeschoolers across the state who
have stepped in to help her in this moment of need.

New Jersey law requires "successful completion of high school or its
equivalent" in order to be licensed as a cosmetologist. Laura has met
this requirement.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.


Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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