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Maryland

May 4, 2011

Umbrella Diplomas Problematic for Maryland Law Enforcement Jobs

Homeschool graduate James Wickless (name changed to protect his privacy) applied for employment with the Baltimore County Police (BCP). He received a written response explaining that “you do not possess a valid diploma recognized by the Maryland State Department of Education.” Because of his family’s membership in Home School Legal Defense Association, he contacted us for help.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff traveled to Baltimore to meet with a representative of the BCP. The representative said that James’ diploma was rejected because it was issued by an umbrella program.

After a lengthy conversation, the representative still refused to budge. The door to James’ employment with BCP remained shut.

We are aware that many umbrella programs issue diplomas. In the vast majority of situations—such as getting into college, enlisting in the military or employment (other than with Maryland law enforcement agencies), an umbrella-issued diploma will serve the intended purpose.

However, if there is any possibility that your student will seek employment with a law enforcement agency in Maryland, an umbrella-issued diploma could create an insurmountable barrier.