Proposed legislation would allow home-schooled athletes to parti - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Proposed legislation would allow home-schooled athletes to participate at public schools

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some kids can't play school sports because they learn from home and one Kentucky lawmaker wants to change that.

State Representative Stan Lee, of Lexington, submitted the legislation on Tuesday. If it passes, home schooled athletes would have the same right to participate in public school athletics as everyone else.

Brian Sekelsky coaches club soccer in Louisville and home-schools his four kids.

"We decided that this was the kind of avenue we wanted to take, more of a family-centered approach," he said.

His children and thousands of others who are home-schooled in Kentucky, may soon be allowed to play sports at public school.

Lee is pushing the “Tim Tebow Bill” which is named after the former Denver Broncos quarterback who was home-schooled but wanted to play for a public high school in Florida. The state changed its law and now Lee hopes Kentucky does the same.

"Playing sports, organized sports, adds a lot to a youngster's education. It helps them build all kinds of important characteristics including character, leadership, ability to get along, and ability to work in a team setting," said Lee.

The bill would also apply to parochial and private schools without a sports program.

Students would need to meet all normal requirements to play like having good grades and keeping up their attendance.

"They'd have to make the team and they'd have to try out just like everyone else. Some of us go back to middle school when we tried out for the b-ball team and didn't make it, it would be the same process for them," he said of home-schooled students.

That is a process Sekelsky agrees with. He says, “"It'll just give them the opportunity to play. It'll give them the experience, that the whole thing is and it's not due to anything else but family choices."

The Kentucky Athletic Association says kids who learn from home cannot participate in public school sports.

Many parents, including some whose kids are in public schools, favor a change.

"I think the opportunity for them to play with other kids around their surrounding areas is good for them to build camaraderie and teamwork, but just to meet other kids and build their social aspects of their life," said Kenneth Miller from Prospect.

The bill now heads to a committee and if it is approved by next summer, it would likely go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year.

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