After developing a fascination for gemstones, an Illinois homeschool graduate decided to take up gemology as a serious study.

But when Jade (not her real name) applied to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in California, they said she needed a state-approved or state-issued high school diploma, or a GED, to enter their program.

Jade’s parents sent extensive information explaining the legal status of homeschooling as a private school in Illinois. The material covered virtually every possible aspect of Illinois homeschool law. The GIA had no question about her actual qualifications, but they would still not budge on the diploma issue.

Jade’s family contacted HSLDA for help.

Under the Law

HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott A. Woodruff wrote a letter to the GIA explaining in clear lawyerly terms what Jade’s parents had already told them. Woodruff also pointed out that having a GED often carries a stigma. Woodruff urged GIA to not push Jade toward a GED and to honor her diploma the same way it is honored under Illinois law.

A short time later the GIA wrote Jade thanking her for patience and compliance and said they had reserved a seat for her in their September, 2014, Graduate Jeweler class. “We couldn’t be more excited to have you back on campus,” they said. Jade’s parent-issued diploma was accepted in full.

With their daughter’s vocational aspiration now a big step closer to fulfillment, Jade’s parents wrote to HSLDA: “Thank you for helping make her dreams come true. A mere thank-you is not enough to show you our gratitude.”

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 enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now.

Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members regarding legal issues in Illinois. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

Courtesy HSLDA. Used with permission.

Publication date: May 28, 2014