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SPECIAL REPORT: Leveling the Playing Field - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

SPECIAL REPORT: Leveling the Playing Field

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Twenty-one states including Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma ban home school students from participating in interscholastic activities. A bill currently stalled in a Missouri House Education Committee revived the debate in the show me state. The issue pits home school families against the Missouri State High School Activities Association..

"Romans 8:31 If God is for us who can be against us."

The four Compton kids do bible study and worship. Its part of school at home and something they couldn't do in public school. 

"We love public school system love Lamar I work there don't have anything against them anything like that we just feel like we have more control over what's going on who's teaching them what's being taught," Marty Compton said.

The Compton kids practice baseball in their yard, but Isaac, 17, no longer has a team.

"I played on the Jasper baseball team and we thought we were going to be able to play in the public school system and I had to quit baseball ."

Housebill 232, sent back to committee, would have given home school students like the Isaac the opportunity to participate in activities like sports as long as they meet qualifications of enrolled students like insurance and submitting proof of passing grades.

MSHAA argued against the bill with academics as a concern.

"You're talking about another layer of accountability and more things for the local schools they have to go through to make sure everyone is on the same page and same level they're actually on same grade level," said Jason West.

Representative Bill White doesn't agree with MSHAA criteria which are voted on statewide by school districts..

"There are records they keep, lets be really fair is everybody in every public school who's making an a really making an "a" in their class. I would, a teacher could as easily or an organization could as easily make sure a student has passing grades so they can play sports just as much as somebody who homes schools, you're automatically saying you can't trust the parents."

Carl Junction AD Jesse Wall said, "By and large most schools are against having or allowing home school kids to be involved with or play with athletics extracurricular activities if they're not going to be at school during the school day."

The bill requires students live in the school district attendance area. Some Lamar residents say that should give them the right to play.

"Yes I think that's fair, they pay school taxes just like everybody else," Steve Sisneros said.

"If they're working as hard as the other kids they shouldn't be punished cause they're being home schooled," Pamela Straw said.

"I think the biggest fear is there is an awful lot of recruiting that can take place," Wall explained."The problem i have is i guess the and possibility of that being misused in various ways or can be misused in various ways by people who simply don't want to attend school."

"I think they do if they're getting an extra good player." If they're not good then they don't have to make the team just like any other public school kid," Abby Compton stated."There's not really that many options for me in Lamar actually the coach there is wanting me to pitch."

The only way it can happen is with a change in law or MSHAA guidelines. Something they do see happening nationally.

"On the average of one to two states area changing their laws a year now its happening pretty rapidly," Dana Compton said. 

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