In Kentucky, there is the possibility of a new law taking effect that would allow our homeschooled children to take part in public school sports without having to be part of the public school system otherwise. Many homeschoolers in our state are in favor of such a law – and I can definitely see their point. Especially those parents who have children that are really good at a particular sport and have no other way to participate except through a public school team.
However, this potential new law raises red flags for me. Anytime we as homeschoolers allow the public school system to take “control” of any aspect of our children – whether in sports, special classes, special funding, etc., we are opening the door – if only a small crack – for the public school system to slowly (or quickly) start taking our homeschooling rights away from us.
In Kentucky, we are very lucky to have fair homeschooling laws. There are those who would very much like to take those rights away from us, though. Giving those people even the smallest opportunity, will allow them the ammunition they need to start chipping away at the freedom we have. In fact, I was just made aware of a quote from Representative Palmer where he states he would like to “look into the oversight of KY homeschool students.”
I haven’t heard an official stance from HSLDA, CHEK or KHEA yet on the topic of sports teams, but I would be greatly surprised if they find this law positive for homeschoolers in the overall picture.
Sadly, I don’t say all this just because I don’t have any athletically talented children. In fact, I think Caleb will probably be a pretty good baseball player in his high school years. Lord willing, probably good enough to make a high school team. For me, though, it’s more important to protect our rights as homeschoolers than it is to be sure my son gets to play high school ball.
Besides that, there’s just too much at stake for our family personally – or maybe I should say for Caleb – when allowing him to take part in a high school sport. He’s only eight and we already struggle with the influence of bitter coaches and worldly children in the dugout of coach pitch teams. Twenty years ago, I was a statistician for my HS baseball team and realize now that those hours spent with the team were probably some of the worst by way of language, se*ual suggestiveness and other opportunities to stray from the Lord than any other part of being in school. And what a difference in our world 20 years later!
Maybe I’m being overprotective or painting the picture of high school sports teams with too broad a brush. Maybe I’m even worried about a law that will not harm us as homeschoolers in any way. What are your thoughts? I’d be glad to hear them even if you don’t live in KY.
**UPDATE: After an update from the CHEK Leadership Convention this weekend, I have learned that CHEK is NOT in support of the new law that will allow homeschoolers to play on public school sports teams.