Tim Tebow

Senate Committee Kills Tebow Bill; House Fights For Life, Rule Of Law

On the same day a bold headline in the Richmond Times-Dispatch announced that the Virginia High School League had created a policy to allow "transgendered" students to play high school sports, the Senate Education and Health Committee killed legislation that would allow home school children access to those same sports — with the VHSL leading the opposition to the bill. VHSL, a pseudo-private organization that controls public high school sports in Virginia long has opposed equality for home school students. Hiding behind its own policies and definitions of "student enrollment" and "academic standards," it fights to keep students who legally home school and whose families pay taxes to support public schools from having an opportunity to try out for teams. It consistently implies that the academic record of home school students can't be trusted and that allowing them to participate would be "unfair" to public school students. The education establishment, from the VEA to the PTA to the School Boards Association, the Superintendents Association and more, fell into their annual lockstep of opposition with the VHSL in opposing the bill.

Testimony from several home school kids was poignant and compelling. Many talked about their participation in sports with their friends up to high school, where they are then blocked from continuing to play by an organization that is accountable to no one but itself.

Commonly called the "Tebow Bill," after Heisman Award winning quarterback Tim Tebow, who benefited from a similar law in Florida (and which 29 states have), HB 63 failed on a party line vote of 9-6. We are grateful to Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Albermarle) for his impassioned advocacy for his bill and for the home school community. We have no doubt that as public support for this policy of fairness continues to grow (see VCU poll), Delegate Bell and home school athletes across Virginia will see success!

Also yesterday, the House of Delegates adopted budget amendments introduced by Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Shenandoah) to both the current state budget and the next state budget that prohibits the attorney general from using taxpayer funds in his challenge to the state constitution. We thank all of you who contacted your Delegate since last night! Delegates have definitely heard your voice.

The House also rejected attempts by Democrats to strip the budget of several pro-life amendments, including prohibiting Medicaid funds for abortion, defunding Planned Parenthood, and prevent any governor's efforts to undermine abortion center health and safety standards. Pro-abortion advocates, as usual, used misleading arguments in trying to defeat the amendments.

Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41, Springfield) alleged that the current abortion center safety standards have led to clinics closing, leaving "thousands of women" without access to "health care," such as cancer screenings. The problems with that argument are numerous. For example, one of the two that did so (NOVA Women's Healthcare in Fairfax), closed because of lease and financial issues, not because of the safety standards (see LifeSiteNews.com). If the $1 billion abortion industry really cared about women's health, it would spend some of its cash improving health and safety instead of $2 million getting its pick for governor elected.

But the misrepresentation by liberals didn't stop there. Topping the deception was Delegate Scott Surovell (D-44, Mount Vernon), who introduced a budget amendment that would have undermined conscience clause protections for faith-based child placement agencies, a law passed into law two years ago. He made the outrageous claim that the law allows faith-based adoption organizations to discriminate based on race! First, that is illegal under federal and state law to discriminate based on race and second, it is appalling to imply that faith-based organizations like those that serve families and orphans across Virginia are racist. It was an utterly insulting claim that should sicken every thinking Virginian.

Thankfully, the House didn't listen to Delegate Surovell (it usually doesn't) and overwhelmingly rejected his discriminatory amendment.

 

Video: "Tebow Bill" Advances In House, Goes To Full Education Committee

The "Tebow Bill," which would allow homeschooled students to try out for sports teams of the public school in which they would ordinarily attend (and which their parents' tax dollars support), passed its first hurdle Wednesday when the House Education Sub-Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education voted to report it to the full committee by a bipartisan 6-2 vote. It now goes, most likely Monday, to the full Education Committee. The legislation is a Family Foundation priority. The bill, HB 63, is patroned by Delegate Rob Bell (R-56, Charlottesville). It's been dubbed the "Tebow Bill" because a Florida law with the same intent allowed former Heisman Trophy quarterback and homeschool student Tim Tebow the opportunity to play football for his local high school, where he was discovered by the University of Florida.

Below is the video of the sub-committee meeting where the bill was debated. The Virginia High School League lobbied against this bill, again, despite its own charter which prohibits such advocacy. It was joined in its opposition by the educrat establishment who fear competition and reform to public education policy.

"Tebow Bill" advances despite the tried and trite arguments by the education establishment.

Tebow Super Bowl Ad Follow-Up

Speaking of television ads, it wasn't that long ago when the abortion-on-demand crowd was howling at the pro-life Super Bowl ad from Focus On The Family that featured star college football quarterback Tim Tebow and his mom. The fact that they tried to block it gave up the lie (if we needed any proof) that they are not "pro-choice" (having a baby, of course, being a choice), but rather pro-abortion at all costs. So, what was the outcome of it all? If this was an ad promoting a secular progressive cause, the mainstream media would have produced all sorts of follow-ups, documentaries, blog posts, etc., detailing how successful it was, whether or not it really was. That it was a pro-life campaign, we didn't expect any subsequent media, positive or otherwise. But new Focus President Jim Daly issued a letter the other day with some interesting notes about the ad's success:

. . . the network would not permit the word "abortion" to even be mentioned. So, if we didn't want to play by their rules, we couldn't run the spot. ... there had always been a two-part strategy surrounding the ad campaign. Our main goal was to drive viewers to FocusOnTheFamily.comwhere the full story of Mr. and Mrs. Tebow was featured. Over 1.5 million people have viewed the online movie.

. . . new research data that indicated the Super Bowl ad caused over 5 million viewers to reconsider their view of the legality/morality of abortion.

Those impressive numbers spell success. Congratulations to Focus for a good strategy and a well played hand.

Intolerant Pro-Abortionists Don't Believe In First Amendment

Although the Super Bowl and all of its ads have come and gone, it's still instructive to review the "controversy" regarding the ad bought by Focus On The Family which featured All-American quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow (Tim Tebow Zone) and his mom, Pam. Several hysterical cries from the pro-abortion left echoed to CBS that the ad should be pulled. Never mind that their reasons were specious. Some, such as Jehmu Greene, president of something called the Women's Media Center, wanted the ad pulled although she admitted she had seen neither the ad nor the script! Can you say "prior restraint"? What about plain ol' leftist bullying and censorship? Just as startling is her assertion that a positive ad that highlights Pam Tebow's  "choice," which worked out well for all involved, "clearly" is "trying to take away" abortion rights. Ms. Greene also wants a "meaningful dialogue" on abortion but will tolerate only a monologue — from her side. Here's Ms. Greene in her own words:

Jehmu Greene of the Women's Media Center: I haven't seen it, but I want it banned!

Now, here's a much younger individual, Mr. Tebow himself, showing much more poise and reason in about 50 seconds than Ms. Greene was in five minutes:

All-American boy: Tim Tebow has no apologies, nor should he.

Finally, here's the ad itself, which still has the pro-abortion left knashing its teeth. Where is the controversy? Where's the intolerance (aside from the left)? By the way, see the rest of the Tebow story, here, at FocusOnTheFamily.com.

Tim and Pam Tebow: Just telling their story. Only to the left is a heartwarming story a nightmare.

Does Virginia Really Want To Prevent The Next Tim Tebow?

Yesterday morning in the House Education Committee, HB 926 failed on a 12-9 vote. The bill, patroned by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Charlottesville), would allow home schooled students to participate in public school sports on the rationale that they contribute equal financial support to the schools, that they are required to maintain certain state academic standards, and that they are as much a part of the school’s community as any public school student. Just like Heisman Trophy Winner Tim Tebow was allowed to do in Florida. The opposition argued that a "double standard" would be created if home schooled students were allowed to participate in athletics without the requirement to pass the five academic course minimum currently imposed on public school students. Eventually, the debate boiled down to fairness, with opponents arguing that homeschool participation would be unfair to public school students. However, figures brought up — ironically — by a Virginia High School League lobbyist revealed that only 2 percent of high school students in Virginia are home schooled. Because of the small number, the impact on athletic teams would be minimal (as both sides stated), while the impact on educational freedom would be immense.

However, the negative vote does not have to be the end of HB 926. If HB 926 is brought up at the next House Education Committee meeting on Wednesday (the last meeting prior to the "crossover" deadline) by any member who voted on the prevailing side (in this case, anyone who voted "no," see here), another vote can be taken. With such a slim margin of defeat last time, the outcome could very well be different.

Contact members of the House Education Committee who voted not and ask them to bring HB 926 back for reconsideration, and to vote to report it to the full House floor.

Could Virginia Produce The Next Tim Tebow? Not Now, According To Virginia Law.

Is there a Tim Tebow lurking somewhere in Virginia that public schools fear? Must be. The Heisman Trophy winner and national champion quarterback from the University of Florida, Tim Tebow is widely known for his strong faith and incredible career as a college football player. Tebow was allowed to participate in Florida public school sports as a home school student because Florida treats home school students differently than does Virginia.

Currently in the Commonwealth, home schoolers are prohibited from participating in public interscholastic sports programs. But three members of the House of Delegates are hoping to end this discrimination and have introduced bills being heard tomorrow morning in House Education sub-committee. Delegate Bill Carrico (R-5, Independence), Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Charlottesville) and Delegate Dave Nutter (R-7, Christiansburg) will each present similar bills (HB 70, HB 926, HB 1001) tomorrow morning that would allow home schoolers in Virginia to participate in public interscholastic sports programs.

Virginia’s public school leviathan continues to hold the line that any child being home schooled should be treated as second-class citizens. Their potential is apparently considered a threat to public schools. The families of home school students pay the same taxes as others that support public schools yet they are banned from taking part in activities they help to subsidize.

Help end this discrimination. Contact members of the House Education Students and Daycare Sub-committee (click here) and urge them to vote for these bills.