Tim Tebow bill should not pass

Published 7:12pm Monday, March 11, 2013

Dear Editor,

 

The Alabama State Legislature’s Senate Education Committee recently approved a bill that would allow home-schooled students to participate in public schools’ athletics. It is called the Tim Tebow Bill, which is modeled after the state of Florida.

Home schooling is the education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in a public or private school.

Home schooling was common during Colonial America. It is rapidly growing and has become an alternative to public and private education.

Tim Tebow, University of Florida former football team’s quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, was home schooled. However, under Florida’s law, he was allowed to play on a public high school’s football team.

Tebow was somewhat a poster child and advocate for home schooled pupils being connected to public schools’ sports.

After becoming the first home schooled athlete to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy, Tebow remarked, “That’s really cool. A lot of times people have this stereotype of homeschoolers as not very athletic — it’s like, go win a spelling bee or something like that — it’s an honor for me to be the first one to do that.”

Alabama’s Compulsory Attendance Law requires children between the ages of 7-17 to attend school.

The state does permit children to be home schooled under the private tutor (home schooling) definition/requirements. According to the Administrative Code of Alabama, “A private tutor means and includes only instruction by a person who holds a certificate issued by the State Superintendent of Education and who offers instruction in the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools of this state, for at least three hours a day for 140 days each calendar year, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., and who uses the English language in giving instruction.”

The Alabama High School Athletic Association does not approve the legislation.

Home-schooled pupils should not be allowed to participate in public schools’ athletics and other extra-curricular activities.

 

Gerald Shirley

Superintendent, Selma City Schools  

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