‘Tebow bill’ sacked in Senate, fails to pass

530013_437485132944537_279580370_n-1By DAVID GRAVELY, SWT Sports Editor

The ‘Tebow bill’, which was proposed legislation that would have allowed home-schooled children to play varsity sports for public school teams in Virginia, has been defeated for another year.

The bill, which was brought forward by Delegate Rob Bell, failed to pass through the Senate Education and Health Committee on a 7-8 vote Thursday in Richmond.

Those who support the bill claim that their tax dollars support the public education system, which entitles their children to participate and compete on teams sponsored by the school for sports such as football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and softball.

Those opposed to the bill feel that the sports teams for the school are there to allow the students who attend that school the opportunity to represent that school in sports, and that home-schooled students would not be held to the same standards in either academics or conduct that the regular students are held to.

The bill is nicknamed after quarterback Tim Tebow who was home-schooled in his home state of Florida before entering the University of Florida..

The Virginia High School League, the governing body that sanctions interscholastic competition in 313 Virginia high schools, is on record as being against the bill.  Students who participate in VHSL sanctioned sports must meet 13 separate eligibility requirements to participate, the first of which is “be a regular bona fide student in good standing of the school which he or she represents.”

“Home schoolers and their advocates have testified that they’re not to be treated differently, they don’t expect preferential treatment, that they agree to meet the same requirements as public school students, but they have chosen a different education path and I urge you not to create a small, elite group with separate and lesser standards,” said VHSL Executive Director Ken Tilly.



19 Responses to ‘Tebow bill’ sacked in Senate, fails to pass

  1. Va Girl

    February 20, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    This should simply encourage the home school families to create their own league. Likely the public schools would have no problem competing against them so long as they fund their own teams as is done in other states.

    • concerned

      February 21, 2014 at 9:08 am

      They have their own league already. They don’t like it – they will try again next year.

      • Va Girl

        February 21, 2014 at 9:54 am

        But does their league play against the public school teams? That’s what I meant should be allowed so long as the home schoolers pay for their own equipment, etc.

        My sister in Tampa home schools as you know by now. The home school teams rock and have even made playoffs in soccer before.

        I can somewhat understand not wanting the kids on the school team directly, but cannot understand not allowing the kids within the home school’s league being disallowed to play against public school teams and be on the schedule.

        Curious to know how this works with private schools? Do they play against public school teams? Can someone answer that?

  2. Concerned

    February 20, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Common sense prevails for another year.

  3. Bob

    February 21, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Concerned should be writing sports columns for Dave. You guys are two peas in a pod. “Either agree with me or you’re wrong!” Pathetic!

  4. Typical

    February 21, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Concerned, in past posts, has communicated some misconceptions on this topic. Children have a right to a public education. They also have a right to home education, done correctly and within mandated guidelines. Concerned has painted this picture that homeschoolers don’t want to go to school with public school students, they only want to play sports. The fact is most public school students do not get what they need. Teachers have to teach to the low and high ends and those in the middle get left behind. As educational needs are most important some concerned parents seek alternatives. However,sports are part of a well rounded education and those kids (whom the system failed in education) often don’t have access to team sports. Concerned hates this part but as Americans they have the right to a public education, even if it is only in portions. In the past,some have made snide remarks around the results of home schooling but percentages of home schoolers going on to receive advanced degrees is impressive. And no, I do not home school. I was fortunate to be able to privately educate my children but know not everyone has access to that luxuary.

    • interested observer

      February 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      I don’t want to come across as a know-it-all or anti-this or that. I don’t have a dog in this fight. With that said, it’s my understanding that sports are not part of a child’s right to a public education. They are considered extra curricular activities. That’s why we can drug test our athletes, but not or general student population. I’m not sure how this might apply to an argument one way or the other.

  5. concerned

    February 21, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Poor Bobby, Where did I post something even remotely close to that? I actually posted a while ago if they put in some other parameters I would be in favor of the bill but as is usual with many people on discussion boards – you read but fail to comprehend.

  6. George

    February 21, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Poor concerny,
    I feel your sorrow when someone calls you out on your arrogant know-it-all attitude. It’s a shame all of us poor ignorant souls don’t have a clue or a mind as bright as yours. Pardon us for living and having an opinion. We now bow down before your greatness and are in awe of your superiority. Hail Concerny!

    • Kathy

      February 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Hahaha! Chew on that awhile concerny! Hilarious!

    • Henry

      February 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      I also noticed concerned is highly opinionated and puts down anyone that don’t agree with her. Could you imagine being married to her? Her husband wouldn’t stand a chance! Hahahahahaha

  7. burman

    February 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    “Typical” I couldn’t have said it better. Public schools better wake up. Private schools are already becoming more popular with each year. There is a reason for that. Anything Tim Tebow has been a part of should be applauded. It certainly worked in his case, but I doubt the public schools would ever admit such a thing. Let them play. It’s not that big a thing anyway.

    • Casper

      February 23, 2014 at 9:57 am

      They’re talking homeschooled not private schools.

  8. concerned

    February 21, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    First, I think Tim Tebow is fantastic. I love what he stands for but lets take a brief look at what he did in high school (something that most are not aware of).

    He kept his original residence but also took on a new rental residence in the district of the school he wanted to play football for – not his actual hometown school.

    Typical – go back and read again – I would be in favor of the bill if there were changes to it. I am in favor of choosing whatever education a parent deems is appropriate for their child. The vast majority of home schoolers receive a quality education across the country. However, there are very little regulations in this state concerning the teaching of homeschoolers or how their progress is measured. You don’t have to have a high school diploma to homeschool. All you have to write down on a piece of paper is – I do not want my kid to go to school because of religious reasons. No explanation, nada then you can keep your kid at home. Unless there are regs put in place then there will be some unscrupulous coaches and parents who will use this to make a mockery of fair play.

    SIDEBAR about bashing public education – You must look at the demographics of homeschoolers – over 80% come from 2-parent homes, over 75% come from upper middle class homes, over 60% come from homes where one parent does not have to work outside the home. In public education, we education everyone, I wonder how good our school systems would look if they had those demographics.
    Typical – they do have access to team sports There are homeschool leagues in this state, there are AAU, club sports, and rec leagues.

    High school sports are not just supported by tax dollars – a significant portion in many districts is supported by other funds.

    Schools get revenue every year based on the number of students in their seats not at home.

    Everyone breath and read the whole post calmly.

    • Va Girl

      February 22, 2014 at 9:01 am

      You’ve yet to answer my question on the previous post. Do private schools play against public schools in sports?

      • NC girl

        February 22, 2014 at 8:09 pm

        In NC they can, don’t know about VA.

  9. Concerned

    February 22, 2014 at 5:16 pm


  10. Leon

    February 22, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Little miss va girl, no they do not play public schools. I like Tim Tebow and what he stands for. If the public school coaches would stand up for what is right then maybe some of the sports in this county would win sometimes. This county’s sports have gone to hell in a easter basket. You don’t have coaches. They have been here too long and I think we need new ones who don’t have kids on the team or kinfolks playing.

    • Va Girl

      February 23, 2014 at 7:29 am

      According to “concerned” they do and according to Leon they don’t. So my lazy butt did my own research. Found that games played against North Cross seemed to be “friendly” or non-tournament games. Guess the home school teams (if they wish to participate) need to get on the schedule and participate with private schools until the time the public school system stops viewing them as outcasts. Then maybe they can play against the kids in their own communities while still on their own team of course.

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