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Alabama

May 30, 2017

The background check company said his diploma was not legitimate.

Fired Because He Was Homeschooled

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A homeschool graduate in Alabama was let go from his job because a third-party background check company declared his diploma invalid.

DAN BEASLEY
Contact attorney for Alabama

Company officials stated: “Homeschool diplomas are not recognized as legitimate or accredited in the state of Alabama,” and homeschool students “must receive a GED to have a true graduation.”

Actually, Alabama law says just the opposite. Not only is homeschooling explicitly authorized by state statutes, Section 16-1-11.4 of the Code of Alabama specifically prohibits colleges and universities from discriminating against homeschool graduates, which underscores that the state recognizes homeschooling as a legitimate form of education.

This graduate was wrongly let go simply because of where he received his high school education.

Protection under the Law

The homeschool graduate contacted Home School Legal Defense Association after he was notified in writing of his dismissal from the company based on his background check. I wrote a letter to the company explaining that the statement from the background check company was “inaccurate and in conflict with Alabama law.”

After follow-up communication with the employer, we received good news from the graduate’s mother:

“I wanted to send you a message and say thank you for all of your help. Jacob got a call asking him to come back to his job . . . This is a blessing, and we owe it all to your professionalism and persistence. Thank you again.”

While this story has a happy ending, there are still many homeschool graduates in Alabama and across the country who are being discriminated against. For example, a statute mandating that candidates for jobs as peace officers hold diplomas from accredited or approved high schools means homeschool graduates who wish to serve as peace officers in Alabama must take the GED.

Earlier this year Senator Paul Bussman introduced Senate Bill 184, which would have fixed this problem. It quickly passed the Senate by a unanimous vote and was reported favorably out of the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. But the bill never received a final vote in the House. The legislature is now adjourned, so the bill is dead. Hopefully, Senator Bussman will introduce this bill again next session.

HSLDA is committed to advocating for homeschool graduates who face discrimination because they were homeschooled. If you’d like to join us, become a member of HSLDA or encourage a friend to join.