August 28, 2003

Barnstable homeschoolers need your help

A homeschooled student in Barnstable has a gift in golf, but has not been allowed to play on the local public school team. When a neighboring district discovered how good this young man was, they welcomed him on their team, but he was not allowed to play. Homeschoolers cannot "open enroll" into neighboring districts to play high school sports.

HSLDA does not sue school districts to force them to allow homeschoolers to play on public school teams. However, we do encourage our member families to get involved whenever their school board discusses policies that affect home schooling. In this case, homeschoolers across Massachusetts may have information that can help the Barnstable School Committee make a wise decision on this issue.

The Barnstable School Committee will be discussing their homeschool policy on Tuesday, September 2, 2003 at 7 p.m. in the Barnstable Town Hall Hearing Room on South Street in Hyannis. If you live near Hyannis and can attend this meeting, please consider doing so. This will be a rare opportunity to help public school decision makers understand the impact of their policies.

If you live in a Massachusetts school district that allows participation by homeschoolers, please let Barnstable know about your district's experience with homeschool sports. Please limit e-mails to constructive, factual examples of how homeschool athletics works in your district. The committee members may be reached at:

Mr. Kevin Harrington, Chairman,
Mr. Patrick Kelleher, Vice-Chairman,
Mr. Ralph Cahoon,
Mr. Gerald Dowling,
Ms. Karen McDonald,

I have written the school committee a letter (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader), urging them to either allow homeschoolers to participate in their district, or to adopt a resolution calling on the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) to let homeschoolers "open enroll" into districts that do permit participation. This option, if adopted by the statewide league, would mean that homeschoolers no longer have to beg a hostile school committee for favors. Instead, if their district is not inclined to let homeschoolers play, they can simply go next door and play for a neighboring district.


Scott Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

 Other Resources

Barnstable Letter to School Committee (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)