Friday, December 09, 2005

Plays well with others

It always seems odd to me when folks point at socialization as an issue with homeschoolers while refusing to play with them. Thankfully, TSSAA has finally recognized that their charges play homeschoolers in other states during tournaments and it no longer makes sense to disallow athletes within the state to play together.

The TSSAA issued a memo which oulines the changes in their Bylaws.

The Legislative Council amended Article IV, Section 1 to now state:

A member of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is permitted to play or scrimmage any secondary school with grades 9 and above in regular season play.

For purposes of this rule, a school team may be one school or a cooperative program of one or more schools.

We will also add the following to the definitions section:

School team – An entity comprised of one or more students in a school, under the control and conduct of the school, which represents the school in interscholastic athletic competition.

In amending the Bylaw, the Legislative Council also took action for this change to go into effect immediately.

As an attendee of the Senate Education sub-committee studying this issue it was my understanding that this is a first step for TSSAA in this area. There are still several issues to be worked out. But a step forward is good.

The legislation that encouraged this change (SB1356 and HB1297) also sought to allow homeschooler participation in public school extra-curricular activities such as music, art and drama. No word yet on what will be done in January to accomplish the rest of these goals. The current law allows this and more, but superintendents are very reluctant to give their permission--and their permission is required. The TEA has been adamant in their opposition.

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