Extra-curricular Activities Changing

By Heather Condley Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Daniel Dew's parents, Roy and Kristina Dew, approached the board Thursday night to ask them to allow their son to participate in the middle school football program.

The board did not change policy Thursday, but set a meeting for 8:30 p.m. Sept. 10, at which time they will discuss what other school districts are doing for their home-schooled children. They will also seek input from administrators.

The Dews home-schooled five of their seven school-aged children during 1994-95 and say they intend to do it again this school year. They say they made their decision based on the fact that they feel religious beliefs are an important part of education, one which can't be taught in public schools.

In defense of their request, they say the Ohio High School Athletic Association allows a student to participate in athletic programs as long as they are enrolled in as little as one course in the district school, therefore they intend to enroll Daniel in a math class at Garfield Middle School.

But school policy states that to participate in extra-curricular activities, a student must attend at least a half a day of school to participate and they must be passing at least four subjects, according to Superintendent Charles Klamer.

The Dews contend that because home-schooling is an approved method of educating a child, Daniel does attend a full day of classes everyday at his home.

"I know that the policy was made so students don't abuse (the extra-curricular activities), but he is attending school, just not here," Mr. Dew said. "We would like to see the policy done away with."

But board member James Kennedy said that the Dews made a decision to home school their children and should have realized that there were pros and cons to their decision.

"When you make that decision (to home school), there are downsides to that," he said. "You're not just asking for Daniel, but to change the school policy. I have to think about what the policy does for the kid that is enrolled full time. My reluctance is: How does it affect the whole?"

Board member Michael Mikula suggested a possible provision specifically for home-schooled children.

"I think we are responsible for every child in this district, whether or not they go to our school," he said.

Mr. Dew said that Daniel will be enrolled at Garfield Middle School for the time being so he can participate in football.

In other business, a high school literature class is being investigated by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Board member Michael Cooper said that they received a letter requesting information about a literature class that includes discussions about portions of the Bible as literature.

"We have no intent to promote religion. We do allow our teachers some latitude with teaching issues that can be controversial," he said.

Board members don't know if a complaint was filed by someone in the district.

Also, the Garfield on the Grow Committee, which has been campaigning for

the district's $8 million bond issue, will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the

middle school library.

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