A credible national homeschool news source published a recent report about a U.S. state, which officially banned homeschooled preteens and teens from participating in public school sports programs.
According One News Now, a news source affiliated with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), Terry McAuliffe (D.-Va.), the governor of Virginia vetoed the so-called “Tebow Bill.” The veto Gov. McAuliffe exercised late last month was the third in three years.
The “Tebow Bill” is a law proposed by advocates, which permits homeschooled children who are middle and high school-aged to participate in sports programs in their local public schools. The bill is named after Tim Tebow, the former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida.
Tebow was homeschooled and played sports at his local public schools prior to entering college. States like Texas want to allow homeschooled minors to participate in local sports programs. Justin Jackson, a star on the NCAA basketball team of the University of North Carolina was homeschooled in Texas and was able to play competitive ball at the high school level.
Alabama was the first state to adopt the Tebow Bill and allow homeschooled students the right to play competitive sports at the middle and high school level. Gov. McAuliffe doe not have a legitimate reason for banning homeschool students from participating in sports, according to advocacy groups.
However, the Democratic governor of a largely Republican state gave his rationale for vetoing the Tebow Bill.
“[Signing the Tebow bill] would disrupt the level playing field Virginia’s public schools have developed over the past century [and codify] academic inequality,” McAuliffe said in a public statement.
However, the HSLDA has a different position in regards to the Tebow Bill. A portion of One News Now’s recent report explains the HSLDA position as follows:
“Attorneys at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) maintain that their organization is officially neutral on the legislation. HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff explained to CBN News that his legal group’s central focus is to protect the rights of homeschool families, and it often refrains from taking legal action to secure more public school rights for children educated from home. He says many homeschool parents are divided over the Tebow bill.” (OneNewsNow.com)
Regardless of the anti-homeschool legislation in Virginia, the majority of U.S. states allow homeschooled students to participate in public school sports if they are good enough to make the team.