Ever have trouble agreeing to disagree? My family disagreed recently . . . .
A couple of weeks ago, we had a great debate at our house. In a house full of boys, a discussion like the one we had is a rare occurrence. You would think we might disagree over paintball rules, which dog loves mom the most, or the best pickup truck accessories, but not this weekend. It was over the color of a dress!
I’m sure you recall the “dress post”: blue and black, or gold and white? My husband sent me a picture of a dress and simply asked that I poll the boys to see what colors they would use to describe the garment. How did they see the dress? They each took turns looking at the same picture but the way they described what they saw was completely different. Even the extra boys we had over at the time saw it differently. They were a group of young men, all seeing the same thing, yet each processed the details differently based on what they chose to focus on; what they found most prominent.
Scientists from across the nation have commented about the picture that has since gone viral, and have shared the science behind the differences in the perception. It isn’t the scientists’ responsibility to tell people how they should see the dress, only that there are certain facts about the dress that cannot be disputed and that it is all right to be in one of two perceptual categories, either one who sees the dress as black and blue or one who sees the dress as gold and white.
As support group leaders, you take on the responsibility of sharing information that will help your members form an opinion based on facts. You guide them toward decision making with fairness, carefully taking in all the details. That does not mean that you will always have the same perception or feel the same way as your members on the important items at hand.
Each legislative session, THSC and its leadership strive to monitor each piece of legislation that could infringe upon the rights of families to direct the care, control, and upbringing of their children. Although some of the bills are warmly received, such as the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act (TPRRA), some are not: case in point, the Tim Tebow bill. This bill has many wonderful aspects that have been carefully examined. The Tim Tebow bill:
- Strengthens Home School Rights
This bill, passed in 29 other states, has resulted in the strengthening of home school rights, and sends a message that home schoolers are willing to take a stand for choice and freedom.
- Expands Parental Choice
For many home school families, extracurricular activities such as band or sports are important components of education. The Tim Tebow bill gives those families the opportunity to try out for UIL competitions if the parents feel it is important.
- Is Totally Optional
Supporting this bill does not obligate you to participate–it just means that you support more opportunity! If any families do not want to participate, this bill will not affect them at all. For those who do want this opportunity, it allows them to make that choice.
The most important thing is that families have a choice. That’s what makes home schooling wonderful. Parents have the option to carefully tailor their child’s education based on the choices that are available to them in the area where they live, whether that is in a town of 1,000 where there are limited options or in a town of 500,000 where the options are limitless.
Much like the debate my sweet family had over the color of a dress, we as support group leaders also have a choice to make. We can be like the scientist who brings factual data and explanation as to why we might see the dress colors completely opposite from our friends, assuring our listeners that they have the freedom to decide for themselves; or we can choose to join the debate standing firmly on a choice of blue and black or gold and white.
Our family debate ended with an understanding of the facts, yet each was quite certain he was right. Just like my boys, the families in your organization will appreciate you leading them like the scientist but allowing them to decide for themselves exactly what color they see.
For more information you can share with your support group, see the important resources below and a special message from the THSC Watchmen:
- Tim Tebow Bill
- Tim Tebow Petition
- “Why the Tebow Bill is Great for Home Schoolers”
- “Ten Facts About the Tebow Bill”
The version of the bill posted on the Texas Legislature Online website is not the version that THSC is ultimately pushing for. The Committee Substitute, which is what is going to be the version of the bill discussed in committee is what THSC worked to get passed out of the Senate last session. This bill reflects language that UIL worked with THSC on in order to better comply with eligibility standards.
~ Isaac Sommers, THSC Watchman
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