Lawmakers in Alabama are reviewing the “Tebow Bill” that would allow home-schooled students to play sports at local high schools.
The bill is named for the famed Tim Tebow, a home-schooled student who was allowed play for a Florida high school, which led to being recruited to the University of Florida. He currently plays in the NFL for the New York Jets.
The Alabama version of the bill would allow home-schooled students to participate in sports and activities at local high schools; provided they meet residency requirements.
If this bill is going to open extra-curricular activities to home school students, then why not open up the activities to students at underprivileged schools that don’t have the sport or activity? I attended a public high school that didn’t have band or football, and I often feel I missed out on an Americana high school passage.
I believe all students should have the same opportunities, regardless of the location of their home or socioeconomic status. The tagline of the bill is “Equal Access” for home-schooled students – it should be Equal Access for all students.
It isn’t just about band or football. My high school didn’t have art, drama, journalism, a debate club, volleyball, tennis, or a show choir – many things most modern high schools have. If this bill seeks to ratify extracurricular activities so that home-schooled students may participate, shouldn’t the bill also allow students from other schools to participate?
The 2009 version of the bill is available online here. [This is the latest readable version I could find online. Unfortunately, the state website doesn’t seem to list entire bills online].
While doing research for this post, I found rules concerning this to vary not only by state, but even by district. Some state open up public activities to students attending private schools; sometimes it’s just a matter of what parents can work out with the neighboring school.
Prior to Alabama’s Tebow bill being passed, it should be amended to include the situation described above.Parents at smaller, rural schools absolutely must demand their children have the same opportunities as those attending larger schools.
The bill is being sponsored by Alabama State Sen. Sharack McGill. I encourage everyone in Alabama to contact a State Senator regarding this issue. Either all students should be considered under the Tebow Bill, or we need a separate bill for students at rural and private schools.