July 25, 2014

Discrimination Issue Solved in Favor of Homeschool Family

J. Michael Smith is president of HSLDA. He has been an advocate for homeschooling for more than 30 years. Read more >>

One of the issues every homeschool school family will eventually face is obtaining a learner’s permit and a driver’s license for their teenagers. We would hope that this would be as simple as taking a course, taking driver’s training, and passing the test, then receiving either the learner’s permit or driver’s license from the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state where you live. This process is simplified in states that have passed laws allowing parents to teach driver’s education.

Once families get through that process, and their teen has his or her driver’s license, parents are often pleased to find out that there are such things as good student discounts. These are discounts provided by automobile insurance companies based upon the good grades of the student. The application process usually seems straightforward: find out what grade point average qualifies for the good student discount, look at your child’s grades and if they are above the minimum, submit that information to the insurance company and get the appropriate discount.

Not so fast, my homeschool family. Things aren’t always so simple.

Discount Denied

One member family in California experienced rejection despite the fact that their child’s report card clearly qualified them for a good student discount. Representatives of an insurance company claimed that the report card was not valid because it did not have a seal or verification from a local school district. Their assumption was that in order to be legally homeschooling in California, a public school would have to have oversight over the student’s education and in fact issue the grades. Of course, that’s not case in California—nor in any other state.

This is a clear case of discrimination against homeschooling. What does this policy actually mean? We can’t trust grades issued by mom or dad. Without supervision and verification by the state, the grades are not to be trusted and are considered to be illegitimate. That’s what we call discrimination.

Bona Fide Private School

HSLDA attorney and President Mike Smith contacted the insurance company and informed them that what they were asking for was impossible. Public schools have no oversight over the grades issued for homeschool students. Homeschoolers in California operate through private schools, and the student, seeking the good student discount, was enrolled in a bona fide private school that had issued the grades. Therefore, they needed to recognize the legitimacy of these grades and reverse their rejection.

To the credit of the company, they did just that. The disappointment is that the family had to call upon an attorney to get the matter resolved. Unfortunately, this occurs way too often. HSLDA is committed to eradicating discrimination against homeschoolers.

Should you face discrimination because of your choice to homeschool, contact HSLDA. We are on a mission to eradicate homeschool discrimination.

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Protect Your Family

If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support for our work enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>