VA Senate Committee Kills ‘Tebow Bill’

Virginia will remain among the 21 states that do not give home-schoolers access to play public school sports.

By Paige Baxter, Capital News Service.

A Senate committee Thursday stopped the “Tebow bill” aimed at allowing home-schoolers to participate in public schools’ sports and other extracurricular activities.

The Senate Education and Health Committee defeated House Bill 1442 on a 7-8 vote, taking the matter off the table for this legislative session.

All of the Republicans on the committee voted in favor of HB 1442, except Sen. Harry Blevins (R-Chesapeake), who joined the seven Democratic committee members —including Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) in opposing the bill.

Do you think the bill should have made it to the Senate floor? Speak out here.

The legislation is nicknamed for NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who as a home-schooler in Florida played football for his local high school team. HB 1442 would have allowed home-schoolers in Virginia to do the same.

Virginia is one of 21 states that do not give home-schoolers access to play public school sports. The remaining states have a policy or law permitting home-schooled students to participate in public school activities and sports.

The committee heard testimony on the bill Thursday morning. Bell brought many home-schooled children, teenagers and even a few college students to testify and show their support.

“All I’m asking you … is to give me simply the opportunity to play sports,” said Eli Marellus, a 14-year-old home-schooler.

How They Voted

Here is how the Senate Education and Health Committee voted Thursday on HB 1442 (“Public school interscholastic programs; participation of students receiving home instruction”).

02/14/13 Senate: Failed to report (defeated) in Education and Health (7-Y 8-N)

YEAS – Martin, Newman, Smith, McWaters, Black, Carrico, Garrett – 7.

NAYS – Saslaw, Lucas, Howell, Blevins, Locke, Barker, Northam, Miller – 8.


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Kenny_Login February 16, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Good. Why would kids that (in most cases) are getting a "real" education want to mix in with a bunch of brainwashed bafoons? Parents of home schooled kids should come up with a sports program for home schooled kids in their region. I think it is a good idea. I mean, how hard can it be? Isn't "social networks" all the rage these days?
Gonzo February 16, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Kenny_login, you must be homeschooled, as you cannot even spell "Buffoon" correctly. If the public classroom is not good enough for these special snowflakes, then what makes their parents think the sports field is? If they don't want to participate in the classroom, then keep them off the sports teams. They have NO business being there. I would however, be alright with letting them play on the teams after the parents pay up a couple of thousand dollars PER SEASON to the school in question to allow their little snowflakes to play with the normal kids. That money would be used by the school for books and other educational materials for the kids who attend the school.
COD February 16, 2013 at 06:02 PM
The bill didn't actually allow any homeschooler to join a team. All it was doing was removing the outright prohibition on VA public schools from allowing local Hsers to play, and pushing the decision down to the local school districts where it belongs. School sports are taxpayer funded and HSers are paying the same taxes as everybody else. In fact, HSers count in the VA school census, so the schools make money on them even though they don't attend.
A.j. Simkatu February 16, 2013 at 08:30 PM
If you want to play on the team you need to show up at the real school and wear your shirt and tie on game day. If you want to be home-schooled, then start up your own home-schooled league and leave the kids attending real school to themselves.
another human February 16, 2013 at 09:24 PM
i feel like this is also a way for the parents of homeschoolers to 'have it all.' homeschooling is often a political / religious statement by the parents that they won't tolerate secular education (mainly science) or culture (no homosexuality please). if you want to forgo public education, you give up access to public sports. obviously, the kids are the ones who ultimately lose. shame on the parents for using their children as political memes.
Jeremy Crews February 16, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Plenty of secular HSers out there, so don't generalize. Maybe HS parents just don't want "their little snowflake" held back scholastically by the lowest common-denominator in a class of 30 kids. Ever consider that? I know a bunch of HS'd kids and guess what? Without fail, EVERY.ONE.OF.THEM is doing work that is way ahead of their grade-level, and, when you're "normal kid" is a senior in high-school, they're learning things the HSers mastered in 9th or 10th grade and have since moved on to college-level stuff.
Abe Frankel February 17, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Abe Frankel February 17, 2013 at 02:09 AM
"They have NO business being there" is a conclusion that appears to be based on nothing more than your emotions, ignorance, and bias against parents who choose to take a leading role in the education of their children rather than outsourcing it to whatever public school happens to be in their neighborhood. What exactly is your rationale behind denying these students the opportunity to compete in athletics through a local school district they're paying into via their taxes? You want to take your ball and go home because their parents would rather directly oversee their education? Why exactly? And how would their parents paying up EXTRA money overcome your claim that they have "NO business being there"? And wouldn't be good for the "special snowflakes" to interact socially and athletically with public school kids, even if their parents don't want them interacting with them academically? And wouldn't be good for the sports teams to have access to a wider array of athletes? You could try mounting a coherent argument rather than vomiting your snark into a serious discussion.
Abe Frankel February 17, 2013 at 02:25 AM
C'mon, dude, this isn't about how you feel. And what a cop out it is to say that homeschooling is "often" about some position you happen to disagree with. There are plenty of good reasons to homeschool one's kids that go well beyond the scope of your narrow-minded stereotyping. In fact, I know a fair number of people who homeschool, have homeschooled, or are considering homeschooling, and not one of them has ever factored homosexuality into the decision (although I'd have to ask: if public schools really are trying to push some pro-gay agenda down the throats of their captive audience, should any of us really be surprised that some parents would opt to homeschool?) You wrote: "If you want to forgo public education, you give up the access to public sports." Says who? Why does it have to be that way? And if the above article is correct, 29 states in our union disagree with you.
Abe Frankel February 17, 2013 at 02:26 AM
Why? Says who? Apparently 29 states in the country allow homeschooled kids to participate in public school sports and activities. Why is it a bad idea for Virginia (or anywhere else)?


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