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Home School Students and Public School Sports......

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What is YOUR opinion? Is this a good thing or is it unfair to the PS's? 

     Legislation opens public school sports to                               homeschool students

Legislation that will require public schools to allow home-schooled students to participate in sports only needs Governor Bill Haslam's signature to become law.

Both the senate and house have passed the bill and it now awaits the Governor's signature.  Parents of home schooled children are cheering the decision, but some schools are concerned the law will mean student athletes will not be playing by the same rules.

TSSAA currently allows individual public school boards to decide whether or not to permit homeschool students to participate in athletics.  Alcoa City Schools is among the districts that does not permit home-schooled students to play ball.

"The school board's decision was that no one outside Alcoa City Schools is allowed to play athletics here," said Josh Stephens, Alcoa High School athletic director.

Stephens said the decision to leave home-school students off the rosters was due to a desire to have everyone follow the same rulebook for grades, conduct, and attendance.

"The hard part about home-schoolers and allowing them to play is the fact that our athletes, if they don't attend school that day they don't play.  So with that home-school student, how are you going to mandate that?  Things also get complicated in terms of grades.  Some home-school kids might have academic requirements that are extremely tough, but others might not.  Our kids, we know if they are getting an F or if they are not carrying themselves the right way," said Stephens.

Home-school student have made plenty of successful sports headlines in East Tennessee.  Tim Tebow made a couple of triumphant visits to Knoxville with the Florida Gators.  An athlete closer to the hearts of UT fans also comes from a home-school environment.  The Lady Vols' Taber Spani was home-schooled in Missouri.

Parents who home-school say their intentions are not to obtain stardom via public school athletics.  Rather, the attraction to sports is another opportunity to educate their children.

"There are so many lessons to be learned for how to deal with people, how to deal with people in a group and team setting," said Rhonda Bradley.

Bradley home-schools her 18-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son.  Bradley's children compete in athletics by playing for an all home-school team called the Knoxville Ambassadors. The Ambassadors recently won the home-school national championship in girls basketball.  The team already plays against private and public high schools.

"We play all of the local private Christian schools.  We usually play 1A and 2A schools, so actually that is the biggest part of our schedule is public school sports," said Bradley.

Bradley says her family would still choose to participate with the Ambassadors if the law changes.  However, she believes home-schooled children should be able to choose to try out for public school sports.

"As home-school parents, we pay taxes to support these [public] schools. I'm all for kids being able to play for their sports teams," said Bradley.

The rules currently say if home-school students want to play sports at public schools, they are only able to play for the public school where their residence is zoned.  This rule is intended to prevent the next Tim Tebow or Taber Spani from starting a recruiting war amongst public schools.

  

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by on Mar. 30, 2013 at 4:34 PM
Replies (11-17):
No_Difference
by Silver Member on Mar. 31, 2013 at 9:34 AM

 From what I'm seeing by me, and I can be wrong since I haven't been scrutinizing highschool sports since we're no where close to that yet, we're not allowed to participate on school teams, but we also don't necessarily have homeschool teams, or non-school teams, and if we do, they're expensive as all get out. Swim team for the summer is so far the most reasonably priced at $90/person ...I'm pretty sure that was the price last year for summer only. And that was for 3 months and almost every single day.We'd bump up to closer to $200/person for winter swim, and we'd have to drive over an 1/2 hr away to make it to practices.  Most "sports" around here run at $45-90 per person for once a week for 3 weeks depending on the sport, and I can not justify spending that... 
Sports was a major part of my life growing up. I wish that for my kids in anyway I can. The area I live in though has many homeschoolers, and the programs around here somewhat cater to them, but also jack up the prices...because they can...and in the end we can't afford it, and my kids will miss out because of it. If public schools opened up the sports to homeschoolers around here, I could forsee some of the programs for homeschoolers possibly dropping their prices so their members will stay...
The other thing I've noticed with sports around here is that all the sports that allow homeshcoolers, only particapte at a county level. We don't compete against schools, we compete against county teams, and we'd never make it to "nationals" or "state". 
I wish band was opened too... My kids can do orchestra, but they'll never be able to do solo and ensamble. Something else that was huge for both my hubby and me.

I do understand not wanting the government to butt their noses more into homeschool families, because I would hate that as well. When I stayed for an extended period of time with my parents (different state) after my dad's accident, my daughter did the specials at the school across the street from them. When I spoke with the principal, he had even said if she were in middle school, the sports would have been available to her, provided she did at least these same classes... If that's what they need for "attendane" and "grade" sake, so the coaches can monitor how they're doing in school, I don't see that as a problem, and then no one is butting in too much...

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 31, 2013 at 10:14 AM
1 mom liked this

I think it's great! As long as a parent is strong enough, and educated enough in their state laws to not allow bullying. I think that enrolling kids in these types of programs can open the door to criticism from some of the BOE's who had no say otherwise. FOr instance, my kids don't exist to the BOE - we've never had to file or take a test. But if I enroll my child in the PS sport programs, then I'm probably opening the door to the BOE sticking their nose into our business. 

With that being said, it might be worth it. My youngest is a sporty kid. There hasn't been a sport invented that he couldn't master in a week. There's no way for us to pay for all the different sports he is interested in. 

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 31, 2013 at 10:20 AM

I can totally agree with this. I think it's important to be aware of the social activities - what type of kids are involved. Is there good sportsmenship going on? Etc.  

Quoting OFIH:

I have such mixed feelings about it. I guess those come from our main reason why we homeschool. If we don't want our kids in public school for the reasons we don't (safety, moral issues, etc), then, for our family, why would we participate in their sports? Yes, I pay taxes that pays for the schools, but so do elderly couples, childless couples, and so on. So, I see that as well. I pay for this school, partially, so I want to take advantage of the programs. But, for us, we would feel hypocritical given our reasons for homeschooling (primary reasons), so we wouldn't do it.


Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Mar. 31, 2013 at 10:41 AM
I've heard homeschoolers here say, they just put their kids in City sports or traveling teams. On those teams you still have mostly public schooled kids. So if you are worried about the bad influence of the environment, you still have to deal with it so you may as well let them do the FREE school program.

I definitely understand if you want to avoid the PS teams to keep the schools out of your business. That makes sense.
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bren_darlene
by Bronze Member on Mar. 31, 2013 at 11:24 AM

 We personally have stayed as far from government schools as possible.  Don't want them to even know we exist. lol   We would never have had anything to do with this.

morriganna
by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Of course they should be allowed!  The people trying to keep them out are probably the same that claim homeschool kids are not properly socialized...and I agree that the homeschooling parents are paying taxes for public education and their children should be able to participate in the extracurriculars.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM


Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

I've heard homeschoolers here say, they just put their kids in City sports or traveling teams. On those teams you still have mostly public schooled kids. So if you are worried about the bad influence of the environment, you still have to deal with it so you may as well let them do the FREE school program.

I definitely understand if you want to avoid the PS teams to keep the schools out of your business. That makes sense.

If we had a more responsible government, then I am not sure I would be against this but since we do not and I have had to deal with the "officials" in an official capacity on numerous occasions before, then I am  forced to stay away form such programs. That is what makes this such a sad situation. 

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