TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The association that oversees high school sports in Ohio is looking at changing its rules after a high school runner was disqualified from a cross country meet because she didn’t have a waiver allowing her to wear a hijab.
Sixteen-year-old Noor Abukaram says she felt humiliated after being disqualified last weekend.
Her coach at Sylvania Northview told The Blade newspaper he made a mistake by not getting the waiver, but he didn’t think it was needed because no one said anything at her previous races this season.
Abukaram says she’s not upset with her coach, only the rule.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s rulebook doesn’t specifically mention hijabs but does ban most head coverings. It also says anyone requiring an exception because of religious reasons must get a waiver.