The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

July 14, 2013

Home-schoolers shouldn't play on high school team

ENID, Okla. — There is a movement afoot in the state — ex-Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer is one of the spokesmen — to allow home schooled students to play for the school which they reside.

They cite as an argument they pay taxes to support the public school, therefore their children should be able to use the facilities.

Tim Tebow of the New England Patriots was home-schooled, but was allowed by Florida law to play for his public school team.

Nothing against Tebow or any home-schooled student (Switzer’s seven grandchildren are home-schooled), but this argument doesn’t fly.

They have chosen not to have their children attend a public or private school, which is well within their rights. But they can’t have their cake and eat it too. If they don’t want the academics, they don’t get the athletics.

They argue they pay taxes. However, every home-school student takes money away from that school district. Funding is based partially at least on enrollment.

A school’s classification is based on its ADM (average daily membership). A few home-schooled students on a team could impact the classification in some cases and can create a hornet’s nest academically.

Home-schooled students face different academic challenges.

In some cases, a student struggling to stay eligible, could go to home-school where they might not have the same academic standards.

I’m sure many home-schooled students are receiving a first-class education, but there would be cases where the first priority would be keeping the student eligible and they are home-schooled not to get the individual attention, but to stay eligible.

Think of the resentment if a home-schooled student beat out a regular student for a starting position. Whether it’s his or her decision, they have rejected the common values of the school.

There could be problems with recruitment or some possible discipline problems.

As someone pointed out on the Internet, sports are part of bonding at school. The athletes who have gone through math, science, English and foreign language together bond better on the playing field.

Remember, home-schooled kids aren’t denied sports opportunities.

Two home-schooled students – Rex Farmer and Shannon Hough — went from home-schooled teams to playing for Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s basketball teams.

Farmer said how much playing for the home-school  Oklahoma City Storm helped him.

Home-school teams have their own championships. There’s even a home-school national championship in basketball.

Enid plays the Oklahoma City Bronchos home-school baseball team. The Storm have played in the Wheat Capital Tournament. A home-school basketball team from Wichita has played in the KOFM Classic.

These teams give the home-schoolers a chance to bond with kids they have something in common with. They are competitive and they have shown good sportsmanship. The Denny Price Family YMCA Water Rockets have three home-schoolers. No objection is they swam unattached at a high school team or under a home school banner..

Farmer and Hough are examples that scholarships are out there for them.

If the home-schooled student is allowed to play sports, what’s stopping them from choir, band, drama, student newspaper, all of which have competitions?

Enid High School should be represented by someone who attends EHS.

Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.

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