TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The affiliation that oversees highschool sports activities in Ohio mentioned Thursday that it is contemplating altering its guidelines after a highschool runner was disqualified from a cross nation meet because she didn’t have a waiver permitting her to put on a hijab.
Noor Abukaram mentioned she felt humiliated after being disqualified final weekend following a race by which she posted her finest time for the season.
“My heart dropped, I felt like something horrible had happened,” she instructed WTOL-TV. “I think I was mostly embarrassed.”
Her coach at Sylvania Northview High School instructed The Blade newspaper he made a mistake by not getting the waiver, however he didn’t assume it was wanted because nobody had raised the difficulty at her earlier 10 races this yr.
Abukaram, 16, mentioned she was not upset along with her coach, solely the rule.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s rulebook would not particularly point out hijabs however does ban most head coverings and caps. It additionally says anybody requiring an exception because of non secular or different causes should get a waiver.
The athletic affiliation beforehand mentioned dropping the waiver requirement for spiritual headwear, however the disqualification has now introduced the difficulty to the forefront, mentioned Tim Stried, a spokesman for the group.
Any change to the rule doubtless can be in place by subsequent season, he mentioned.
Association officers have issued a number of waivers this fall and have by no means turned down such a request, Stried mentioned. He additionally acknowledged that the rule is not at all times absolutely enforced, together with on the subject of sporting caps in chilly climate.
Similar points have come up in different states lately.
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association voted final yr to drop its waiver requirement after a highschool basketball participant in Philadelphia was compelled to depart a recreation because she was sporting a hijab.
Abukaram, in the meantime, obtained a waiver this week and can be capable to run within the state regional meet this weekend.