It was just a brief mention during the 10 pm news legislative wrapup, " a bill that would have allowed home schooled students to compete in interscholastic athletics was voted down." My initial reaction. They took the easy way out. They know that home schoolers make up a very small percentage of the state's student population. We preach inclusion, we practice seclusion. Why deny home schoolers like John Jenkins, a 7th grader at Monticello, a chance to play football at a public junior high in Monticello ?
John's parents pay taxes. John isn't asking for a guaranteed starting spot or any special treatment. John just wants an oppportunity to play. This is what John told Channel 7 news, "I just want to play football, I've been playing with same kids ever since I started living in Monticello. I just wanted a chance to play with them. They all know me and they're my only friends, because I'm not at a school , I don't get a chance to meet new people. " Why say no to John ? Please fill me in.
I'm a firm believer that one of the keys to improving as a state is to get more kids involved in extra curricular activites. All this vote does is keep kids like John off the practice field. I have no idea why John's parents chose home school over public school. That was their decision which I assume they made in the best interest of their child. What message is the legislature sending ? It's our way or the highway. We don't accept different . I just don't understand.
One of the great things about sports is that teams are often made up of players from many different backgrounds. And more often than not you learn over the course of a season, that the player you thought was so different is in many ways a lot like you. Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow,was different. He was a home schooler.
If you're wondering, I have no dog in this fight. I don't know many home schoolers and my kids graduated from public high schools. As a guy, who has both great passion and great interest in high school sports, I'm very disappointed at the state leglislature for taking the easy way out.