Home Schooling

Ohio Man Loses Job Offer After Company Learns He Was Home Schooled

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

An energy company allegedly rescinded a job offer to an Ohio man after they learned he had been home schooled.

NiSource energy company originally made a competitive job offer to the man in question. They then rescinded it because he doesn’t have an official credentialed high school diploma, which the company requires, his attorney Michael Donnelly told Fox News.

"You've got a highly qualified young man who has years of relevant experience and was offered a job based on those qualifications," Donnelly said. "Because he has a home schooled diploma, this company rescinded the offer."

The man had three years of relevant experience on the job.

"The people at the lower level wanted him for the job,” Donnelly said. “They then hired a background check company, which found it [the diploma] wasn’t a publicly recognized credential."

The company's decision, while not illegal, is “unethical,” the man claims.

"He was obviously qualified because they offered him the job," he said. "We’re not saying that they did anything illegal. They can do this. It’s just unethical and immoral. You’ve got this company excluding an entire class of people from employment. It's discrimination against home schoolers."

"Home schooled students do not receive an Ohio high school diploma recognized by the State Board of Education,” says the Ohio Department of Education website.

"When pursuing employment or advanced education, home schooled students may need to complete the GED to show equivalence to a state recognized high school diploma," it says.

While his client never got a GED, Donnelly says he did take numerous college-level courses during his home schooling.

"The GED is for people who haven't finished high school," he said.

NiSource told Fox News that they have hired home schooled employees in the past and continue to do so.

"In fact, among our 8,000+ current employees, we are proud to have colleagues and coworkers who were home schooled or received other non-traditional educations. We value them as strong, skilled contributors to our organization," the company said in a statement.

In some cases home schooling reflects the student and their family’s religious beliefs.

Keith Harding, a 15-year-old from Alabama, recently graduated from Faulkner University this month after being home school on an advanced track until age 11.

"At this age, (homeschooling) is like (part of) our religious beliefs, feeling like we need to be responsible for educating them," his mother Mona Lisa Harding told the Christian Science Monitor. "I don't feel I want to give them over to the public school system or pay all that money for a private education. At this age, it's not even an option. So we home school. And in the process of homeschooling, they become accelerated at a very young age because it's a very efficient way."

Sources: Fox News, Christian Science Monitor