An intermediate appellate court ruled against private school students who sought to participate in a public school extracurricular activity. Thomas v. Allegany County Bd. of Educ., 443 A.2d 622 (Md. App. 1982).

A private school may include homeschool athletes on its teams without losing its eligibility, according to the Maryland Public Schools Secondary Athletics Association’s “Approved Standards of Competition.” (This policy was adopted as the result of a federal lawsuit, Bressler v. Maryland Public Schools Secondary Athletics Association, JFM-05CV783 (D. Md. 2005).)

Things to keep in mind:

Public school access includes participation in public school classes, sports, activities, etc.

States use a unique vocabulary in this area: “extracurricular,” “cocurricular,” “curricular,” “interscholastic,” “program,” “activity,” etc. Care should be taken to distinguish one from another. When a state defines a word, it is important.

While athletic association rules are not “law,” public schools are generally constrained to operate within them, or their teams could be disqualified.

We strive toward keeping this information 100% up to date in this rapidly changing area of the law. However, this post should not be considered authoritative because of the possibility of unobserved changes in association rules, statutes, regulations, or case decisions, and because of lag time between changes and the publication of updates.