PBOE says no to home school athletics PDF Print E-mail
Written by By DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 18 August 2009 09:15
PERRYSBURG - The Board of Education Monday voted down a proposal that would have allowed home-schooled students to participate in high school and junior high school athletics.
The issue was raised in June by Jennifer Ritchey who home schools her six children, including a son who wants to play junior high football.
In response the administration drafted an amendment to its home schooling policy that would have allowed home-schooled students as well as others in some private and parochial schools to participate in sports and other co-curricular activities if they also were enrolled in some core academic classes. The administration gave the board the option of setting the number of core academic courses required at either two or three.
Barry VanHoozen, who introduced the amendment, proposed two as the number.
Though the proposal did receive a second, only VanHoozen ended up voting for the amendment.
Board member Walt Edinger said he "struggled" to find a way to support the change, but in the end thought there were "too many problems when it came to other activities."
He raised the specter of students from other schools cherry-picking activities they excel in and participating in those.
Val Hovland said that some of the programs are "selective" and bringing in students not enrolled in the district could bump some students now participating.
Home school students, she said, wouldn't have the same accountability in terms of the standards they'd have to meet to participate, and that would cause "a disparity" with students already participating.
Hovland also noted that there are other options for home school students wanting to participate in sports.
Gretchen Downs said while she respects parents who decide to home school, she said that the district has set a goal of having a program that helps students achieve their "highest potential." That goal "is in direct conflict with home schooling."
VanHoozen said that this was a way the district could support more people within the community. The district, he said, makes accommodations for many kinds of students and it should in this case. The changed policy should be seen as "an outreach" to "those who have chosen a different path."
"I think we've put ourselves in a box as far as who we are and what we do," VanHoozen said.
The Ritchey family did not attend Monday's meeting and could not be reached for comment this morning.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 August 2009 10:27

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