My name is John LaRock. I am 11 years old, and live near Leesburg where my parents home-school me and my brothers and sisters. I love sports. My friend Jay (who is also home-schooled) and I play lots of football. We both would love to play in college and even in the pros someday. That may sound pretty far off but Jay’s dad, James Thrash, played in the NFL and Jay would like to follow in his footsteps.
Home-schooling is not for everybody. It takes a huge commitment of time, patience and other resources. (Thanks Mom and Dad). Public schooling is not for everybody either, and yet those parents who choose a different educational environment for their children still pay hard earned dollars for public education. My Dad calls that “Taxation without Participation” and considers it to be unfair.
The Tebow Bill, House Bill 1442, passed this year in the Virginia House of Delegates 56-43. I was there to see the vote. It seemed like the people against it were making things up to make the bill look bad. Home-schooled kids are not going to steal other kids’ spots on a team; we would earn a spot that our parents have helped pay for. We are learning and studying just like public school kids and that is a fact. The grading standards vary in many public schools, so that is not a reason to exclude us. We are not sickly or disruptive, and we are welcome in public libraries, public events and we contribute more as we learn and interact with others. Tim Tebow is proof of what home-schooling can do for a person.
Please ask Senator Blevins to vote for this bill. It only asks that sports organizers like the VHSL not be allowed to discriminate against normal and hard-working children just because our parents teach us at home. If the law blocks this unfair practice it will cost nothing. VHSL would just change their unfair rules and stop excluding kids like me, and then local school boards could make the final decision as they see fit.
Senator Blevins is a former principal. I do hope he will listen to his heart and to reason and then use his experience and his vote to solve this and not be part of the group wants to keep me and my friend Jay, and 32,000 other home-school children out of public-school sports across the Commonwealth.
Thanks to News 4 in Washington for interviewing Jay and John (me) and letting people know what this is about.
John LaRock and Jay Thrash