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Florida

August 15, 2007

Homeschool Graduate Fights to be a Firefighter

With HSLDA’s help, Derek Maddox is now fulfulling his dream to work as a firefighter.

After graduating from his parents’ homeschool, Derek Maddox attended the Florida State Fire College. He did very well in his training and was ranked at the top of his class. However, he was told that he would not be allowed to graduate from the Fire College and become a firefighter because he had a homeschool high school diploma.

Maddox, feeling discouraged, contacted HSLDA to see if there was a way to challenge the official policy requiring an accredited diploma.

Thankfully, due to Maddox’s performance and good character, a person in charge of the fire department was willing to work with HSLDA to seek a satisfactory solution which would allow Maddox to graduate while fulfilling state law.

HSLDA’s Chris Klicka repeatedly communicated with the fire department, trying to satisfy this arbitrary requirement. Klicka wrote letters on behalf of Maddox and sought what the fire school needed. The family had legally homeschooled and given an annual evaluation to the local school district for each year Maddox homeschooled. The school district was able to verify the family's compliance as well.

Between Maddox’s persistence, Klicka’s assistance, and the school district’s verification, Derek Maddox graduated at the top of his class and was able to go on to serve as a firefighter!