I want to use this blog, at times, to discuss things in Nebraska that are very important to me, personally. Few things in my life right now are more than this issue.
Today, the Education Committee (Nebraska’s State Legislature) hears discussion on LB103. This legislative bill seeks to change the current law that prevents homeschoolers from participating in high school sports and other extracurricular activities (unless they are enrolled at least 1/2-time in a public school). This is an extremely important piece of legislation, and passing it would do nothing but good things for Nebraska families, high schools, and universities. As a dad who loves the classical model of education, and as a husband who thinks his wife is the best teacher he’s ever witnessed, this new law would give our family, and hundreds of others families, the chance to educate our children AND participate deeply in our community.
To homeschool families, the current law feels punitive – like we’re being punished for our choice to educate our children at home. This is discouraging, because we love our state, respect our local school boards, and deeply desire to participate in our communities. (Personally, I greatly appreciate the two schools in our area – Nebraska Christian & Central City Public. I’m very pleased that we have three solid options for education in Central City, Nebraska!)
I would ask you to contact the Nebraska Legislature’s Education Committee to express your support of LB103 – 402-471-2613. I would also ask you to pray with us for this legislation to pass. My 13-year old daughter, Kate, also asks you for your prayers. Here is the letter she sent, this morning, to the Education Committee:
January 20, 2015
Dear Education Committee, Nebraska Legislature,
I’m Kate Pipher. My dad, Zeke Pipher, wrote to you already. I am thirteen years old, in eighth grade, and an avid volleyball, basketball, and track athlete. I am homeschooled, which I love, but that creates a problem with my future high school sports career. According to current rules, I must go to public or private school at least ½-time to participate in a high-school sports program. For me, that’s a problem. I love my current schooling. Being at home and learning life lessons from my mom and family as well as receiving a great education is fantastic. But, I also love “my family” on my sports team. My teammates are phenomenal, and I have a wonderful coach. I adore the energetic, positive, encouraging atmosphere. I’ve learned so much these past two years playing for my team. My coach has taught me how to exercise, eat right, be responsible, and serve selflessly as well as teaching me to better play the sports I love. These are qualities I can carry with me for the rest of my life. Sadly, coming up this year, I will have to make the difficult decision between continuing sports and continuing my current education. However, this does not have to be the case. I beg you to consider allowing homeschooled students to participate in their district school’s sports program. (I love the school I play for, too, and I wouldn’t want to play for any other team!)
It would be a positive step for everyone in Nebraska. I am sincerely grateful you took time to read my letter. If you want to talk more about this in person, I would love to. Again, thank you, and please consider my request to change this rule.
Kate Elisabeth Pipher, age 13
School District: Central City Public School District
Legislative District: 34