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File #: RS2020-578    Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 9/28/2020 In control: Metropolitan Council
On agenda: 10/6/2020 Final action: 10/6/2020
Title: A resolution calling on the National Federation of State High School Associations and the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association to amend its rule relative to head coverings.
Sponsors: Zulfat Suara, Freddie OConnell, Sean Parker, Ginny Welsch, Brett Withers, Bob Nash, Dave Rosenberg, Tonya Hancock, Colby Sledge, Kyonzte Toombs, Emily Benedict, Burkley Allen, Russ Bradford, Jennifer Gamble, Gloria Hausser, Sharon Hurt, Antoinette Lee, Delishia Porterfield, Brandon Taylor
Attachments: 1. RS2020-578 TSSAA, 2. Resolution - Suara - TSSAA rule change
title
A resolution calling on the National Federation of State High School Associations and the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association to amend its rule relative to head coverings.
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WHEREAS, on September 15 of this year, Najah Aqeel, a freshman at Valor College Prep in Nashville, was preparing to participate in a volleyball match; and
WHEREAS, before the game started, a referee told Najah and a coach that the hijab she wears violated the rules set by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS); and
WHEREAS, Najah was disqualified from the game for wearing a head covering. The rule restricts the types of headwear that can be worn by student athletes, even if worn for religious reasons; and
WHEREAS, this rule, enforced locally by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA), unfairly targets Muslim students who wear head coverings by requiring them to obtain special permission before they are allowed to participate in certain sporting events; and
WHEREAS, not only is this rule discriminatory, it has been selectively enforced. Valor College Prep had not been made aware of the rule in its three years as a TSSAA member school and other student athletes at the school who wear head coverings had never had an issue during a game; and
WHEREAS, Valor College Prep has requested and received a waiver from TSSAA so that in the future, all student athletes who wear head coverings for religious reasons will be able to participate in their chosen sport; and
WHEREAS, despite this, this rule should still be changed. Students who wear head coverings for religious reasons should not be required to obtain a waiver before they are allowed to participate in school sports. Requiring a waiver puts an extra burden on these students; and
WHEREAS, disqualification of students under this rule discriminates against those who choose to wear a head covering for religious reasons, and leads to shame and embarrassment when they are told they...

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