August 29, 2008

Sheriff Rejects Homeschool Grad

Jordan Garver’s dream to work in law enforcement appeared in danger of an abrupt death when the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office told him they would not hire him because of his parent-issued high school diploma.

In 2006, Jill and Troy Garver proudly gave their son his high school diploma. He spent time in the Newton Police Cadet program, and in 2008 applied to the Sedgwick Sheriff’s office to become a detention officer. Since joining in 1998, the family had not had an issue that needed the involvement of HSLDA’s legal staff. But when Jordan was told that despite being a very impressive candidate, his high school diploma was unacceptable and a GED or “state issued diploma” would be necessary, they called for help.

HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff called the Sheriff’s office to ask why Jordan’s diploma was not accepted. A sergeant told Woodruff that “anybody could have written the diploma.” Woodruff explained that non-accredited private schools have the same authority to issue diplomas as any other school. He then read from the Kansas Department of Education website where it says, “Private schools, including nonaccredited schools, issue their own high school diplomas. The state does not issue diplomas.” After hearing this, the sergeant seemed to have a change of heart. He said he would be satisfied if the family provided a transcript reflecting Jordan's high school program.

The family submitted Jordan’s high school transcript, and in a few weeks, Jordan’s dream came true. He was accepted as a member of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office.