June 13, 2012

Checking the Background Checker or Diplomacy over Diplomas

Staff Attorney Mike Donnelly answers questions and assists members regarding legal issues in Ohio. He and his wife homeschool. Read more >>

Many employers conduct background investigations on prospective employees. Usually these are transparent to the prospective employee who simply fills out an employment application with references. However, in the case of a homeschooled student who didn’t have a “traditional high school diploma,” this investigation became a hassle—especially because the investigators didn’t understand the homeschool law.

When Anna Blaski (name changed to protect privacy) submitted her job application she was told that there would be a background check. The investigators refused to accept Anna’s high school diploma as evidence of high school completion because her diploma was signed “only” by her parents.

Anna’s parents contacted HSLDA for help when they were unable to convince the investigators that Anna’s diploma was legitimate evidence of high school completion. HSLDA Staff Attorney Michael Donnelly sent a letter to the employer explaining the family’s fundamental right to homeschool and their legal authority under Ohio law to issue a valid diploma. The results were immediate.

Mrs. Blaski sent HSLDA an email saying that “less than 24 hours after you sent the letters … [Anna] received the phone call with the official job offer to work for them. She has accepted the job and wanted us to send you all her thanks.”

HSLDA’s mission is to advocate for homeschoolers. This includes helping our members and their children to educate colleges, employers, and background investigators on the rights of homeschool families and the legitimacy of homeschooling. We are privileged to provide legal advocacy for all of our members. So when potential employers conduct background checks, HSLDA can help make sure they check the law. HSLDA staff attorneys are all homeschool graduates or homeschooling fathers and take your challenges to heart.

If you know someone who is not a member of HSLDA, perhaps you’ll consider sending this story to them within encouragement to join the community to protect their family and support hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers all over the world.