New Jersey assemblyman pushes bill to allow home-schooled students to play for public-school teams Tommy Rowan |The Express-Times
Erik Peterson says let ’em play.
“I’ve always thought that academics and athletics were both important,” he said. “We shouldn’t deny these kids the opportunity to play on a sports team in high school.”
The state assemblyman is a primary sponsor on legislation that would allow charter, vocational and home-schooled students to play on their public school district’s sports teams.
Assemblyman Peterson prefers trust rather than automatic suspicion of parents’ intentions.
“You want those kids to not put athletics before academics,” he said. “But I suspect any parent who is homeschooling their kid. … is not likely to allow their kid to participate in sports if they’re not achieving their education goals.”
Caution from Larry and Susan Kaseman: Why the Question of Homeschoolers’ Playing Public School Sports Affects All Homeschoolers
What We Can Do
* We can let our legislators know that most homeschoolers do not want legislation that would allow homeschoolers to play on school teams so they are less likely to introduce or cosponsor such bills.
* We can be alert for proposals in our state that would allow homeschoolers to play public school sports and oppose them. If we are not alert, such bills can be passed while we are either unaware of them or feel that they don’t or won’t impact us.
* We can discuss this issue with others and encourage them to explore alternatives rather than trying to make it possible for homeschoolers to play public school sports. Then at least some of the groundwork will have been done in the event that legislation is introduced.
* We can keep ourselves informed so we are not misled by articles like the one in Time. The mainstream media often cannot be relied on for information about homeschooling. We can write letters to the editor when we see incorrect information or exaggerated stories like the one in Time.
Changing state laws or regulations to allow homeschoolers to play public school sports would undermine the homeschooling freedoms of all of us. Therefore, it is important that we inform ourselves and others of the risks involved and remember that, despite the publicity that a few families may receive, most homeschoolers do not support the participation of homeschoolers in public school sports, especially once they realize why and how it would lead to increased state regulation of all homeschoolers. We also need to be alert so that legislation allowing homeschoolers to play public school sports does not quietly pass with little notice.