'Sackett Act' heads to governor

Rachel Sackett is now a signature and a missed season away from playing varsity lacrosse at Mill Creek High School.

The Georgia House of Representatives passed the bill as part of a larger piece of legislation in its final day of session on Thursday, 119-37. It now moves to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk for his signature.

Originally its own legislation, the “Rachel Sackett Act,” as named by Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, will allow students to play a sport for the school in their district if they attend an alternative public school that does not offer the same extracurricular activity. The bill passed as part of a large education bill.

The Georgia High School Athletic Association does not allow students who attend another school to play a sport.

The legislation, originally sponsored by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), found its face in Sackett. The sophomore who attends the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology lost her ability to play lacrosse for Mill Creek when the school upgraded its program from club to varsity status. She started as a freshman for the club team.

Sackett lives in the Mill Creek cluster.

The bill does not address homeschool or other alternative, non-public school students, but, if signed, will allow Sackett and other public school students like her to participate in extracurricular activities for the school in the district where they live.

The GHSA, whose rule is trumped by the legislation, opposes the rule on the principle that athletics are a part of the individual high school experience.