Sunday, January 07, 2007

What do Jason Taylor and Tim Tebow have in common?

Last post before Glendale.

It's not often that my interests in politics and sports intersect on a story. Today on ESPN's Outside the Lines Bob Ley examined the issue of home-schooled children and whether or not they should be allowed to play sports for public schools. The OTL piece focused on an Alabama home-school student who is prohibited from playing sports. Of course the most famous recent case is that of Gator quarterback Tim Tebow who was also mentioned in the piece along with Jason Taylor the Miami Dolphins all-pro defensive end who was also home schooled in High School.

I don't understand why there should even be a debate. Everybody pays for the public school system, whether you use it or not. Why should these children be denied the ability to play sports because parents believe the school itself has failed them. Let's face it, the education system in this country, like all government bureaucracies, is a mess.

Opponents of the idea say there a risk of fraud. Could there fraud? Yes. But there's fraud all over high school athletics it's never been a reason to cancel the sports programs. What is needed is clear rules regarding home-schooled kids and which school they can play for. For example, you should be be required to play for the school you would normally be assigned to if you were, in fact, attending public school. That shouldn't be any harder to police than regular students.

1 comment:

NoleCC said...

I've got to say no on this one. There is no "right" to play sports at a high school you don't actually attend and suffer through. Home schooled children have an unequal playing field, since they can have a schedule conducive to playing sports and focusing on that, while their counterparts continue to deal with their studies in a traditional environment.

And while I'm at it, let me shoot down the "we pay taxes for the school" argument. I'm a homeowner and I pay taxes for the schools, but I have no children. I'm not complaining about it, it's just a way to fund the school system.

Should someone not have to pay sales tax if they aren't a resident of a county they purchase something in? I think not.

Parents of home schooled children made a choice, and if that means that they can't play on a high school team, so be it. Let them play a city, county or state league instead.