- The Washington Times - Friday, March 2, 2012

ANALYSIS/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. Home-schoolers, 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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