Parent asks Brunswick County Schools to review plan for athletic requirements

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BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY)–The return to school in Brunswick County is raising some new questions as private school parents wonder whether their students will be allowed to participate in public school athletics.

Jimmy Anderson went in front of the Brunswick County Board of Education on Tuesday to speak on that issue. He proposed an idea to the board that would allow private and homeschool kids the opportunity to play certain sports that are not offered at their current schools. In the proposal, kids could participate in those sports at the county’s public schools.

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“My son is a freshman at a private educated school and we’re just trying to get him the best education possible academically,”says Anderson. “With that being said he’s very talented athletically. So, we want him to have the opportunity that our current private school does not offer and that is to play the sport of football.”

Currently Brunswick County Schools does not allow for outside students to participate in athletics. Even though the North Carolina High School Athletic Association states it is possible within their governing body if a student is enrolled in a certain number of courses. The decision is ultimately left up to the local education agency.

West Brunswick High School Athletic Director Jimmy Fletcher says it is an unusual circumstance, but it’s definitely worth looking into.

“When Mr. Anderson came and talked to us about it, I really had not dealt with this at all,”says Fletcher. “So, I actually had to call Chapel Hill and try to find out some rules. Then of course we started contacting our county AD to discuss some situations and what our protocol is. Because that’s something we had never had happen before. So, I think it is a good conversation to have. ”

Anderson knows it may be a long shot to get the ball rolling on this issue, but he hopes he can be a voice for those people out there that maybe never considered this as an option for their kids.

“My goal is to be a voice for those that may not even know this is an opportunity,”Anderson says. “Whether it’s for my son or students to come years down
the road.”

The Brunswick County Board of Education says they will look into creating a clear set of guidelines. They are expected to meet again on November 10th.