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Bill pitches scholastic sports for home-schooled students

Posted February 26, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Michelle Lewis teaches her children at home.

She says her young daughter, Kristin, is already showing promise athletically. That concerns Lewis a bit.

Track Bill pitches scholastic sports for home-schooled students

"I cannot imagine having to choose between home-schooling and sending her to public school just for the purpose of her playing for an interscholastic team," she said.

It's a situation Leslie Laufer already faces. Her 14-year-old son, Jon, now plays baseball for a home-school team.

"He wants to play in college. He wants to play professional baseball, and I think the exposure is important," Laufer said.
Senate Bill 259, introduced last week, would allow home-school students to play interscholastic sports at the public school closest to the their school that also has a program in that sport. It would also cover students attending public and private schools that do not have interscholastic athletic programs

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education for review.

Some, however, are opposed to the measure.

Charlie Adams, executive director of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, says allowing students to play for schools they don't attend creates issues with funding, eligibility and recruiting.

"You would have people, now, that don't belong to your school, and you could entice them to come to your school to play athletics," he said.

North Carolinians for Home Education is also against the bill, fearing it would eventually force the state to impose new regulations on home schools.

"We would be in favor of allowing home-schooled students to participate in public school club sports, if there were no additional regulations that would affect home-schoolers, the NCHE's president, Spencer Mason, said in an e-mail to WRAL News.

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  • vaderscustoms Mar 17, 2009

    The topic on hand is home schooled kids and athletics. There are leagues out there for different sports. I coach for a football league call the Carolina Football Development League and we focus on the 15 - 23 yr. old range. We obviously have two teams 15-17 and 18-23. Visit us at www.carolinafdl.com. The new Wake Forest team has orientation and a workout this Saturday, March 21, 2009, at 10 am at the Friendship Chapel Baptist Church in Wake Forest.

    Call Coach Van Nett at 919-697-1317 for more in formation.

  • jbrlangley Feb 27, 2009

    why cant they play civitan sports?

  • Mom2two Feb 27, 2009

    Every decision involves tradeoffs. Contrary to what some people think, you can't always have everything you want all the time...which is certainly something that our children need to be educated about.

  • NC Reader Feb 27, 2009

    I have a child on a sports team. My child has to be in THAT school, all day, on the day of a game. I can't take my child on an educational outing or teach math at home that day. As a team member, my child is required to dress up for school on game days, go to pep rallies, and participate in school service projects like canned food drives and school grounds clean-up days. It would be unfair not to hold all team members to the same standards. They are part of a team representing their school. Our school does not have a lacrosse team. I cannot demand that my child be allowed to play on another school's lacrosse team while going to our current school. Deciding to teach a child at home is a choice. It may be great for some, not great for others, but it is a choice. We need to be willing to live with the drawbacks of our choices as well as reap their benefits.

  • PC is for Losers Feb 27, 2009

    Keep that pipe dream Junebug. Your comment about valedictorian is ridiculous. It's great to be positive, but it's always amazing to me how homeschool parents seem to feel their children will be better educated out of public shools -- where they can also have a prayer session at 11:00, or whatever. I've never understood why homeschoolers can't assist in their childs education while they attend public school. My parents successfully instilled their set of values while also doing what else it takes to see too it that I was well educated - AND attending public schools. Fact of the matter is that you should attend the school if you would like to play sports.

  • NC Reader Feb 27, 2009

    "Also, the average home school student would generally not have much competition from public schoolers for valedictorian."

    What a smug, bumper-sticker-like "Our students are smarter than yours" attitude -- and an indication of just how few public school students you must know.

    On most high school teams, a member can only participate in a game or meet if he/she has attended school all day, every period -- not even an excused appointment. How would this work for children who are taught at home? Would the parents have to swear that the child was "in class" for x number of hours, with no interruptions for anything else? Also, some coaches require their team members to dress up for school on game day, and no one who has been disciplined can play. Would a parent swear that the child dressed up and hadn't been disciplined that semester? Team members are expected to represent their school. Can you represent and be proud of a school that your parents don't even allow you to go to?

  • apexfootballmom Feb 27, 2009

    I agree with skydog and bleach. Home school parents made that choice to home school for whatever reason. Yes, they pay the same taxes as those who go to public school but so do those who attend private school or have no children at all. That is your choice! It seems pretty hypocritical to me that home school parents don't want their children around public schools because of their values but will let their kids be around them for sports. Unfortunately there is always a downside to everything. The downside to public education is well public education. The downside to home schooling is the lack of social (athletic) interaction with your peers. That is also your choice.

  • Junebug Feb 26, 2009

    My reply to slydog and bleach is this: Home school parents pay the same amount of school taxes as public school parents, and get zero return. If home school students are allowed no benefit from their parents taxes, then why should their parents be mandated to pay education taxes at all? Also, the average home school student would generally not have much competition from public schoolers for valedictorian. And it's not that home school parents don't like the public schools, they just know that they can give their children a better education and teach them by their own set of values.

  • GoGreen Feb 26, 2009

    For all you naysayers, doubters and critics, Google "Tim Tebow". This is the Tim Tebow bill. Tim was home-schooled by his parents Pam and Bob Tebow. Forida passed this legislation before Tim was in home (high) school.

    Man am I glad Florida had this on the books.

  • adc62679 Feb 26, 2009

    I agree with slydog and Bleach...I am a homeschool mom and one of the main reasons for homeschooling my children is so they aren't in a public school environment so the last thing I am going to do is place them in that environment just so they can play sports. My kids are not in high school yet but we are debating what to do about this situation if our children show interest in playing sports when they are in high school and for us, the best option will most likely be private school.

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