Skip to comments.Going on the Offense: HSLDA Sues Florida Athletic Association
Posted on 01/19/2010 2:48:11 PM PST by Sopater
On January 13, 2009, HSLDA filed a lawsuit against Florida High School Athletic Association because of its unjustified refusal to allow a homeschool student to play sports for a private school.
In 1997, the Florida legislature passed the Craig Dickinson Act. This provision, which allows homeschoolers to participate in the sports programs of public schools and accommodating private schools, is most known for assisting to launch the career of well-known University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. In addition to Tebow, many homeschoolers across the state have benefited from this statute. Last fall, however, one member family ran into difficulty when the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) prevented their son from playing on the rationale that he had been recruited to play for his local private school. Yet in the same meeting, the board approved the eligibility of other students in identical circumstances who were not homeschooled.
For the past several years, Caleb Brown (name changed to protect privacy), a homeschooled student, has played soccer with a local private school. He has also played on a summer club team. When the private school he had been participating with discontinued their soccer program, he moved to a second local private school. However, because the director of the summer program is also the coach at the second school, Caleb, along with three other players who had participated in the summer club, needed to obtain a waiver from the FHSAA to be considered eligible. Two of the other students enrolled full-time in the private school, while Caleb and one other student remained being homeschooled, only wanting to participate in the soccer program.
The FHSAA executive director denied the waiver for the four boys to play on the soccer team, and the private school appealed the decision to the FHSAA Sectional Appeals Committee. On appeal, the committee approved the waivers for Caleb and the other homeschooled student, as well as for one of the students who enrolled in the private school. Not happy with being overruled, the executive director appealed this decision to the FHSAA board of directors, who heard all four cases last November.
At that meeting, the FHSAA approved waivers for the two students who enrolled in private school, but denied the waivers for the two who remained homeschooled. The circumstances and evidence for recruiting is identical in all four cases, and the only distinguishing feature between the students who obtained waivers and those who did not is homeschooling. During the hearing, at least one member of the board admitted that homeschooling was the distinguishing feature.
The Brown family contacted HSLDA about their denial, and we attempted to discuss the situation with the FHSAA. However, the FHSAA refused to reconsider or alter its decision. HSLDA filed our complaint on Calebs behalf on January 13, 2010.
The NEAZIs are at it again, eh?
I know we have a lot of home shoolers, so here goes. What is the basis for a homeschooled child to participate in any student activities at a public or private school? Shouldn’t they be registered as a student at that school and attend classes?
They are paying property taxes. They should be able to access the schools to whatever extent they wish.
I found this article, from 2008.
“According to The Homeschooling Book of Answers by Linda Dobson, 24 states allow homeschoolers to participate in interscholastic sports (one school competing against another school). Those states that accommodate homeschoolers include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington state, and Wyoming. Vermont allows homeschoolers to participate in individual sports, like golf and tennis, but not in team sports.”
The article goes on to advise folks to play on homeschool leagues, and the comments section talks about how these laws are interpreted loosely by local districts. IN the end, it’s the district who decides. So, politics as usual.
It is helpful, when one is requesting their child be allowed to partake of the buffet that is local education, to remember..homeschoolers pay the same taxes as public schoolers...pure profit for the local districts.
Private schools should get to make their own rules.
Public schools... well, we pay for ‘em, after all, so why not? Personally my kids will be kept far far away from anything to do with government schools including sports teams but other people make different choices. Often a school team is the only local team available to a kid so that makes it really hard to argue they shouldn’t be allowed to play. If the school team is the de facto community team, what’s a homeschooled kid to do?
My parents pay property taxes and they aren’t allowd to play football at OHS or use the shcool library or nurse etc.
If the state passes a law to allow it, then so be it. Thanx for the info.
There are plenty of rules which restrict tax payers from participating in school activiies.
There are well defined laws and rules determining what public schools children attend and who can participate in the school activities. It looks like home schoolers want to have it both ways. They want to remove their kid from the school but have the freedom to use the school resources and activities intended for student of the school.
No. They pay for the goverment schooling through their taxes even if they do not attend the government schools itself. If they are a resident,meet all other qualifications they get to play period.
The students who go to those schools PAY to go there and to use the facilities. Your parents are free to take classes if they want, I suppose.
K-12 is a guaranteed free education, which includes all activities.
So if a kid goes to private school that doesn’t have sports he can play on the local public school sports teams because his parents pay taxes. I think I debunked the “they pay taxes argument” a few posts ago.
My parents are not free to take the classes or use the facilities or play on the sports teams. That’s the point. Try it yourself.
How about the fact that Florida law specifically grants them the right to play?
I’m families with the competitive nature of high school sports, particularly at the higher level. The school board probably has a say because the private school plays public schools. If the private school doesn’t obey their rules, they can’t play.
Public school students rarely have a choice of what school they can attend. And if a student moves, particularly an athlete then school board look very closely at the situation. On of their inspectors came to my parents house after we moved because by younger was a starter for a larger 5A school.
So it’s a serious issue cause schools will do anything to get star athletes and there is cheating involved everywhere.
BTW: we did move so my brother could go to that other school. Lied our a** off to the inspector. He later got a football scholarship, me academic. :)
Your parents are just as free as anyone else to apply to the school, and to pay the fees and attend if accepted.
how about my previous comment
If you don't believe me try it yourself and make sure you take your property tax receipt with you. I look forward to your thread when you report your findings.