- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi lawmakers are saying no to home-schooled students who want to play sports in public schools.

Senate Bill 2329 died Thursday when 17 senators voted for it and 31 voted against it.

The bill said home-schooled students could play sports or do extracurricular activities such as cheerleading or debate at a local public school.

It was named the “Tim Tebow Act” after the Heisman-winning quarterback who was home-schooled but played public-school sports in Florida.

Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, said parents of home-schooled students pay taxes, and their children should get the chance to participate in public school activities.

“If you’re paying local taxes … your tax dollars are paying for all these other events,” Fillingane said.

Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, asked Fillingane whether home-schooled students participating in public school activities would have to meet the same academic standards as the public-school students. Fillingane said they would not. He said home-schooled students’ academic records are kept by their parents or other teachers, and it might not be possible to equate those to the academic records kept by public schools.

Bryan said the lack of academic requirement could prompt good athletes with bad grades to leave public school, become home-schooled and still play football or other sports.

Speaking as if he were a football player doing that, Bryan said: “I can poke fun at the students who were trying to make grades. I can hold it over them that I don’t have to go to chemistry. … There’s not a thing in the world the school district can do to stop me. Isn’t that correct?”

Fillingane said a student who leaves public school to become home-schooled would have to wait a year before trying to take part in sports or other activities. He said Tebow is an example of a home-schooled student who was helped by playing public-school sports.

“Are you offering that as an argument in favor of the bill?” Bryan said.

Fillingane responded: “I sure am.”

A similar bill died Feb. 3 in the House Education Committee.

____

Online: Senate Bill 2329 https://bit.ly/1AfWaYy and House Bill 138 https://bit.ly/1F2ZwPI .

____

Follow Emily Wagster Pettus on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus .


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide