The North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA) banned 12-year-old Joshua Lawrence from competing in a regional speech tournament in April because he is being taught at home.

In North Dakota, home schoolers can participate in public-school activities without enrolling. However, last August the NDHSAA adopted a policy preventing home schoolers from participating in private-school activities without enrolling first. Lawrence was ejected from competition as part of the Shiloh Christian private school team when his home schooling became known.

"The policy is discriminatory toward home schoolers," says Jim Hofman, administrator of Shiloh Christian School. Children educated at home have competed on teams from Shiloh Christian School since 1991.

Nationally, home schooling is growing at an annual rate of 15 percent (CT, July 14, 1997, p. 68), and an estimated 1.5 million children are now taught at home. Public schools in some states can receive additional funds because of home schoolers who participate in activities.

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