Give home-school stu­dents chance to play

The Washington Times Daily - - Opinion -

A Virginia bill named af­ter Den­ver Bron­cos quar­ter­back Tim Te­bow that would have al­lowed home-schooled stu­dents to play sports in public high schools was deep-sixed last week (“Virginia Se­nate panel kills ‘Te­bow bill,’ ” Web, Thurs­day). As a home-schooled high school sopho­more, I had hoped the “Te­bow bill” would mean I could try out for sports at my lo­cal high school. Sadly, now this will not hap­pen.

I know the rea­sons that prin­ci­pals, teach­ers and leg­is­la­tors are against me and other home-schooled stu­dents play­ing sports in public schools. Most of them re­volve around the mind­set that be­cause I chose not to at­tend a public school, I should not be able to pick and choose what to par­tic­i­pate in. Homeschool­ers, with the help of the Virginia state gov­ern­ment, al­ready have bridged the gap be­tween home ed­u­ca­tion and public ed­u­ca­tion. I al­ready can au­dit classes at a public school if I wish. Some of my best friends are en­rolled in public schools. I am al­lowed to at­tend classes with them, so why am I for­bid­den from play­ing sports with them?

The men­tal­ity that home-school­ers should be barred be­cause we do not walk the halls hurts home-school­ers and public schools alike. If this mind­set can be changed, school dis­tricts with many home-school­ers will no longer feel ham­strung. They will find new sources of skill, tal­ent and ath­leti­cism just wait­ing for the chance to play. GE­ORGE EICHEL­BERGER Dale City, Va.

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