In the Now
Shawna Jones

The Lessons We Are Teaching Our Children...

Posted Thursday, June 23, 2011, at 6:16 PM
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  • It's very sad that Lillie will have to go somewhere else to play. But, I wish her good luck. Hopefully in the near future our petty and childish county will be more home school friendly.

    -- Posted by PrpleHze on Fri, Jun 24, 2011, at 8:13 AM
  • It is a shame that the situation has come to this. I would hate to know I was the reason any kid would not be allowed to participate in any activity they choose. Some people want to control everything and everyone.

    I commend your daughters decision however, it should have never came to that.

    -- Posted by Disgusted on Fri, Jun 24, 2011, at 9:01 AM
  • It is sad that she had to make that decision.

    It's also sad that you still have to pay the taxes that make those extracurricular activities possible, yet you can't use them.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Jun 24, 2011, at 9:12 AM
  • I regret that there was any backlash for your blogs or comments made on them. I don't understand why faculty supporting your cause were targeted. Every parent has the right to fight for what is fair to their child.

    -- Posted by Tinaw on Fri, Jun 24, 2011, at 10:36 AM
  • Thank you all for your well wishes. Tinaw, I wish I could elaborate more about the circumstances, but a friend of ours has been put into a disagreeable situation as a result of all the media attention this topic has gotten--and our daughter's situation specifically because she was accepted onto a team several weeks before the decision came from the Bedford County Board of Education to deny playing rights, and subsequently had to be cut from that team.

    We are disheartened by the Board's decision, and will continue our efforts on behalf of those [home schooled athletes] to come. In the meantime, we've already been directed to a few very good teams outside our area. But in hopes of a decision reversal, we will not commit to any team until the very last minute.

    Life goes on for all of us, one way or another. It's just a shame that we cannot find some means of compromise for both parties, one that does not require one of those parties to conform and bend at will.

    Homeschooling is not for every child, but neither is public schooling. Each child has unique and individual academic and social needs, and some children simply function better in a small ratio atmosphere with a diverse learning curriculum. They shouldn't be deprived of their chance to "try-out" for local athletic opportunities--which their tax dollars support--based on their academic atmosphere. If a child play wells enough to be an asset to the team and "makes the cut," and can meet any state imposed testing and/or grading requirement, then the location of their desk shouldn't matter. Teammates will form friendships and bond regardless...this is proven in recreational/league sports.

    -- Posted by shawna.jones on Sat, Jun 25, 2011, at 1:26 AM
  • This is such a disappointing decision made by the school board. Sorry, Lillie, hopefully you and the supporters of the rights of taxpayers to reap the benefits of their tax dollars will be heard in the Board of Ed's next meeting.

    -- Posted by jbcataldo on Sat, Jun 25, 2011, at 10:21 PM
  • It is sad that a child like Lillie has to bear the burden and make a decision like that just because the Bedford County Board of Education is too lazy in trying to sit down and work out a plan where all requirements are met because in the end, they should be thinking of the child's needs and not their own petty agenda. As far as criteria of meeting the educational standards to play sports and especially at Central, I use to tutor athletes when I was a student there and let me tell you that I am sure Lillie far exceeds many of those individuals. Unfortunately there is s stigma in our culture today and especially in small town minds like those that sit on the board of education that home schooled children just sit around and do finger paintings and don't learn anything of substance. When I went to college, I knew a sixteen year old who was a freshman like myself who had been home schooled and he was very intelligent and well socialized and he was smarter than half the students in the honor courses we were taking. He definitely changed my perception of individuals who are home schooled but unfortunately too many people still have preconceived notions of what that means.

    I applaud Lillie for showing so much grace and courage and heart in dealing with this situation but it saddens me so greatly a child is forced to make that kind of decision due to the ignorance of a group of people who are supposedly educated and suppose to represent the best interests of all the children in this county. Furthermore, it is even worse when you as parents are paying the same amount taxes as other parents who attend public school and can play sports but can not reap any of those benefits yourself.

    Bedford County . . . yet again you drop the ball in trying to move this county forward and be more progressive and unfortunately we still have individuals who mindsets are still stuck in the past. You wonder why some of our best and brightest individuals move out of this county . . . this is just one of the many reasons why.

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Sun, Jun 26, 2011, at 10:27 AM
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