I am writing to advocate on behalf of independent school students that do not have funds for certain sports or extracurricular activities not currently offered in their schools. At this time in Vermont, home school children are allowed to participate in public school sporting and extracurricular events, but independent school students are not. Some independent schools in this state are able to offer sports and many extracurricular activities, but I am asking for support for those students that do not have the opportunity currently in their own schools, as a matter of fairness.
Home schoolers are allowed by statute to participate in co-curricular and extracurricular activities. I am asking for the same opportunities for students of independent schools under the same rules and regulations that apply to home schoolers. I know that sometimes there is an exception and a student is invited to play for the school if there are not enough kids on a team, but I think it would be fair if everyone was given the same chance to play.
Children attend independent schools for many reasons and, where a parent decides to send their children for their education, does not damper their children’s desire to participate in sports or extracurricular activities. I think it is important that parents be given the opportunity to educate their children as they see fit while supporting the needs and desires of their children to participate in sports and extracurricular activities, just as the state did with regard to homeschoolers. This is about the children.
There may be a direct benefit to some of the public schools by providing a slightly larger pool of talent for the public school tryouts. The numbers will not be significantly higher, but with the many dwindling school sports and lower student numbers, this may allow schools to have full rosters on their teams. In addition, being involved in team sports will allow both public and independent school students to learn many new skills together to become better players and through competition, build strength and character. Another obvious benefit is health related. We know playing sports allows for regular exercise that has been proven to be vital in fighting obesity and high blood pressure. Other known benefits of team sports also include academic, social and actual career benefits.
Also we cannot forget that this would provide opportunity for students to participate in all extracurricular activities – even those not interested in sports. If these organizations and clubs are offered outside of the curriculum day, then it would be another wonderful opportunity for these students to broaden their experiences.
Please support me to allow independent school students the same opportunities to play sports and participate in extracurricular activities the same way homeschoolers have been given this right.