By: Krystle Crossman
Children who are home-schooled may sometimes wonder if they are allowed to do things at schools with other kids such as extracurricular activities. They may want to be a part of a sports team or the band. Unfortunately there is no definitive answer as to whether they can do that or not as it differs by state. Some states allow home-school students to participate in public school activities while other do not. There are currently ten states that allow this:
– North Dakota
These states force the schools to allow home-school students to have the right to participate in school activities. Utah is the only state out of these ten that has not yet passed an equal access law. In Oregon and Arizona the home-school students are only allowed to participate in activities that are deemed “interscholastic” which would be things like a debate team. Some sports are also considered to be interscholastic.
There are some hurdles for the students to jump when they want to join an activity. They have to meet the same requirements as all of the other students that want to join. They must be able to prove that they are passing their core educational requirements, they need to be in full compliance with the state’s home-school laws, and they must meet all of the same requirements for the activities as the students at the school.
In the other 40 states that do not offer equal access it is a hit or miss situation. Some of them will allow a home-school student to participate in activities. Others will not allow it at all. For many of these states a presentation must be made to the superintendent and show why the student should be allowed to join in these activities. Even if an athletic department wants to allow the home-school student to join the team there are times where it is not possible due to the “no pass no play” rules. These rules state that the student must show that they are passing a required amount of classes. Since home-school students have a very different structure and curriculum this is often hard to do.
Unfortunately if you are in a state that does not allow a student to participate in public school activities bring the matter to court will not do any good.