Mississippi Senate Rejects ‘Tim Tebow Act’ Allowing Homeschoolers to Play School Sports

footballJACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Senate has voted to reject the “Tim Tebow Act,” a bill that would allow homeschoolers throughout the state to participate in school sports programs.

As previously reported, the bill was introduced this year by Sen. Joey Fillingane in an effort to give students who study at home equal access to compete in sports as children who are taught by the public school system.

“A student enrolled in a homeschool is eligible to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities sponsored by or engaged in by the public school to which the student would be assigned according to district school board attendance policies or which the student could choose to attend pursuant to district open enrollment provisions,” SB 2329 reads.

Mississippi parent Brent Butler told reporters that the bill is important because athletic opportunities for homeschoolers are lacking in their teenage years.

“What happens in this community [is], we have our sports stop right around 14. You’ll see football stop, as far as a rec league football,” he said. “That limits our opportunities for interaction and development.”

While Tebow didn’t have a role in the creation of the bill, it was given his namesake because of his homeschooling roots. In 1996, a law was passed in Tebow’s home state of Florida that allowed him to play football with school teams. He then began playing football with a Christian school and later a public school, working his way up to the championships.

Tebow went on to play with the University of Florida, and was later drafted into the NFL. He was the first homeschooler in American history to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy.

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According to the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, over 25 states allow homeschoolers to participate in public school sports, including Arizona, Florida, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Arkansas. But another 21 states ban homeschoolers from being a part of interscholastic activities, including Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia and New York. Several states that have proposed legislation have likewise named their effort after Tebow.

On Thursday, the Mississippi Senate voted down the legislation, with 17 in favor and 31 against. According to the Vicksburg Post, concerns were raised over the lack of academic standards for students, as well as the inability to track which homeschoolers have complied with the state’s strict vaccination requirements.

“[T]here’s no way to monitor whether the homeschool children are meeting the grade requirements to participate in the activities,” State Sen. Briggs Hopson III, who voted against the measure, told reporters.

He also said that logistics surrounding liability insurance “were not clearly answered” in the bill.

But Fillingane had said after introducing the legislation that there was no reason homeschoolers shouldn’t be allowed to play with school teams if their parents pay taxes.

It is not known whether another bill will be presented at a later time containing adjustments to the existing language.


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  • Gary

    Since the homeschoolers pay taxes used by the government schools, it is unfair to keep homeschoolers from playing sports. If the government does not want them to participate, then they should exempt their families from paying school taxes.

  • Tara

    ‘if’ the parents pay taxes. Hello, I’m sure the parents of homeschooled children pay taxes that are indeed used for public education.

    • Shirley Ujest

      …that’s he point, Tara. They pay taxes, and those taxes are used in many cases to support an education system in the U.S. that is not only badly flawed, supports tenure of obviously bad “teachers” and curriculum (decidedly anti-God, and historically getting worse), but other taxes go to support causes which many Americans decry as horrific – Planned Parenthood comes to mind. More on that in the next reply. If we all are REQUIRED to pay for the public schools, even if we choose to not use them AND pay for our own schooling to boot – then we’ve paid for the privilege of using the public extra-curricular activities: sports.

    • Liz Litts

      yes-they do – I have known quite a few homeschool parents who still have to pay state taxes

  • Fundisi

    To the Left and quite frankly most of the world and even most Christians today, homeschooling is an aberration, they hate it because most of these homeschooled children are taught about God Whom the world hates and do not promote the godless beliefs of the world. They see these children as being deprived of the social interactions of secular minded students and of a liberal, socialist education. In America, the Left, those that dominate our culture today, cannot build their big government socialist utopia as long as the mental disease, as they see it, of Christianity is allowed to exist. These home schooled children ar potential sources of pollution to the atheist minded students of the United Soviet Socialist States of America.

    • Gary

      Well said. And you did not mention that homeschoolers deprive government schools of money they would get if their enrollment was larger. That is one of the main reasons the government school supporters disdain homeschoolers.

      • Fundisi

        Yeah, what is the saying – “follow the money?”

      • bowie1

        When it comes to Christian Schools in Canada, parents still pay education taxes to the public schools even if they enroll their kids in the Christian School. I believe the same would apply to home schooling.

        • Gary

          Why should parents with school-age children pay taxes to support the government schools if they educate their children elsewhere? They are relieving the government schools of the burden of educating their children.

          • bowie1

            I’m sure these parents have asked that question and have tried to get that changed.

    • alnga

      Maybe it is not so good to play with the Godless.

      • Liz Litts

        How will they hear without someone to tell them?

        • Carol Cantell Moorby

          ” how will they hear unless a preacher is sent?”

    • Carol Cantell Moorby

      The mental disease is Oikophobia and is the disease of liberal secular humanistic atheists? They should fear home schooled children because we love The Lord and are being raised with values and morals , something they know nothing about. PRAISE THE LORD!!!!

  • Mr. Avatar

    Subversion is used as a tool to achieve political goals because it generally carries less
    risk, cost, and difficulty as opposed to open belligerency. Furthermore, it is a relatively cheap form of warfare that does not require large amounts of training. A subversive is something or someone carrying the potential for some degree of subversion. In this context, a “subversive” is sometimes called a “traitor” with respect to (and usually by) the government in power. { Operation Subversion }

  • Douglas

    I believe the school had sound reasons for voting against this proposal. I personally do not understand why you would want to pick and choose what public school based services you use. If you want to home school then I think its fair to also be excluded from the other things that come along with public school. I can only see it causing issues down the road for homeschooling parents. I wonder if as an alternative, these parents can create a sort of community team for their kids to play on that would be open for everyone.

    • Fundisi

      Those home school parents pay tax money for those facilities and equipment, but you would deprive them of its use?

      • Douglas

        Many people pay taxes for things they do not and even cannot use. Those of us without children pay the same taxes for example. I know that I am not able to walk into the public school to use the library, or the gym, or to eat in the cafeteria. I don’t think paying taxes would be relevant here.

        • Fundisi

          If you have a school aged child and this is school property, why wouldn’t the fact the parents pay taxes for those things be relevant?

          • Douglas

            Read my comment above. “I know that I am not able to walk into the public school to use the library, or the gym, or to eat in the cafeteria.”

            We pay taxes for those things, but we are not able to use them at will just because of that fact. Would home school kids then insist on getting a lunch at school, or joining other school clubs? Where would the line be drawn? How many school services would they offer to home school kids and how would the school keep track of such things. How would they know if the child’s grades were up to par. Would it be fair for the public school kid who has to meet certain requirements to join an activity that the home school kid doesn’t have to meet?

            That’s just how I see it.

          • Fundisi

            IMO you are playing word games and you are a Liberal.

            You are not a school aged person, so no you have no business hanging around kids, if that is your thing. Parents with school aged children have a reasonable right to avail themselves of educational or sports facilities, because it deals with children and they pay taxes so their children should have a right to some access.

            No one is talking about school lunch and what right minded parent would want their children eating the junk Comrade Michelle forces them to eat anyway?

            These home school students must meet state minimum educational requirements.

            You hate them home schooled kids because you fear they are those damnable Christians, right?

    • Gary

      Then how about excluding the homeschool families from school taxes? Wouldn’t that be fair.

      • Douglas

        Fundisi already grilled me on that one. Feel free to read my other comments. Keep in mind that this is just my opinion on the matter.

  • Gary

    Some states allow homeschoolers to participate in government school sports. The homeschoolers to whom such participation is important should consider moving to a state that allows their participation. I understand why kids want to play sports, but if the parents don’t trust the government schools with their children’s academics and social environment, maybe they should not trust them with their athletics either.

  • TheBottomline4This

    Label, hate crime.

  • Carol Cantell Moorby

    we have every right to be allowed to play sports even when we home school our children… We are citizens and pay our taxes.Isn’t that a form of blackmail????.Of course it is!!!!!, Where is the tolerance……Denying us is NOY politically correct!! It works both ways folks!

  • John Mark IB

    well they hate the homeschoolers, because how dare they be different and be separate? you must be compulsive or compelled to be in school by law??actually public education should be outlawed as such and it should be a more competitive process then they’d actually learn to read and write and do ‘rithmetic!! ha ha the good old 3 r’s?? not the common core, dumbed down, communist, agenda 2,1 goals 2000, whole word, outcomes based education of the end times, functionally illiterate millions, dyslexic on design, go to any high school today and go into the office look at their statement of goals is and see if it doesn’t represent the new world order, I’m not joking, it’s incredible that what I read at my child’s school said to train them up to better global citizens?? really?? the state says so even though you will be forced to pay taxes too on top of it all, they want total control of all of us starting from the time little johnny/janey is able to be head start or no child left behind get ’em in soon as they can govt. run programs, designed to destroy the family, from mom’s who can’t afford to stay at home because they have made it this way on us all, and get them properly indoctrinated into the nanny state system, and so they the socialist and anti Christian state will fight against them from little Rudolf being able to join in the reindeer games!! signs of the times homeschoolers GOD bless you and be with you!! fight the good fight raise them for Christ and Him alone!! and let’s see if they can get help from the HSLDF or home school legal defense or some one, or any don’t hold your breath decent politicians who have the decency to do what right for a change??
    maybe if they didn’t name it after Tebow, who even though I don’t agree with his doctrine 100%, was still a good role model for the most part, and a good example, if they didn’t name it after him, they might not be so offended, but in my state the home schooler’s actually had something called path, or groups where they could play sports amongst each other so not sure,

    give them hope

    http://faithsaves.net

    http://www.pillarandground.org/home/?page_id=36

    http://discoverthebible.org

    http://faithsaves.net/the-book-of-daniel-prophetic-proof-the-bible-is-the-word-of-god/

  • BarkingDawg

    Good for them.

    High school sports is ties into school pride.

    No carpetbaggers.