Homeschool Family Reacts To Failed Tebow Bill

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, VA -- Members of Virginia's Senate failed to pass House Bill 1442 on Thursday, which would have given homeschooled children the ability to play on public school sports teams.

The bill passed in the House earlier this year. It failed in the Senate by one vote.

The bill is known as the Tim Tebow bill, named after an NFL player who was homeschooled.

Some homeschool families in the Valley are disappointed the bill failed.

Svetlana Doughty homeschools her nine children at her family's home in Rockingham County.

She said letting homeschooled children participate in sports is a good call.

"The homeschoolers are just like anybody else," Svetlana said. "They live in your district, they play with your kids, they go to the same libraries."

Svetlana said her children play sports on leagues instead, which she said can be costly.

"Just because they want us to be in the building from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., that's not fair. I think people can do better," Svetlana said.

Opponents of the bill say playing sports is a privilege for public students. They also say making an exception for homeschoolers is unfair.

Svetlana's husband, John, said the bill is not about sports.

"What it is about is power. Power. Who will have the authority and the power over the last bastion of the public school system? That is the Friday night lights," John said.

The Doughty family is hopeful the bill will pass in 2014.

"[Homeschooling] is not the backdrop to society. We're all going to graduate from homeschool or high school; we're all going to live in the same world," Svetlana said.


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