Earlier this month, Juashaunna Kelly was disqualified at a high-school track meet over a uniform dispute. Kelly, a senior at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Washington D.C., was deemed to have violated competition rules by wearing a custom-made, one-piece unitard that she wears to satisfy her faith.
Kelly is a Muslim; her faith forbids her to show any skin besides her face and her hands. To oblige both her religion and her competitive drive, Kelly has worn this outfit for three years under her school uniform — never experiencing problems.
“It’s not special,” Kelly said. “It doesn’t make me perform better.”
Judges cite a uniform violation in her disqualification — and, of course, deny any connection to religious discrimination. The letter of the law states a uniform must be “”a single-solid color and unadorned, except for a single school name or insignia no more than 2 1/4 inches.”
The accounts from both sides of the issue differ as a compromise was sought. The judges claims they asked her to only wear a T-shirt over her outfit. Kelly and her coach claim they required much more, including her to remove her hood.
This winter, Kelly boasts the fastest times in Washington D.C. in the mile and the two-mile. She hoped to qualify for the prestigious New Balance Collegiate Invitational in February, but her team has no more meets scheduled, and for now it appears as though she won’t run again this season.
What are your thought on this issue? Is it a matter of separating church and state or are the regulations warranted?
Morning stars in the clutch
1. Carol Howard, Franklin girls basketball — The junior guard scored a game-high 13 points, including a game-winning three-pointer with one second left, in a 41-38 win over eighth-ranked Roosevelt.
2. Karri Gallagher, Lake Stevens girls basketball — Gallagher only had five points, but scored a putback with six seconds left to give the unbeaten Vikings a narrow 47-46 over Marysville-Pilchuck.
3. Dae’veonna Munson, Seattle Prep girls basketball — Her free throw broke a 36-36 tie with just seconds remaining to give the Panthers a one-point win over Ingraham. Prep remains undefeated in the Metro League.
Tonight’s top games
1. Franklin at Holy Names, girls basketball, 7:30 — The Cougars (8-6, 8-3 Metro) look to make it six straight wins in an intriguing mid-season non-league came against Franklin (9-6, 6-4 KingCo 4A), who has won three straight.
2. Federal Way at Decatur, boys basketball, 7:30 — Looks to be another SPSL North Division classic, as both league co-leaders come into tonight’s contest with 9-2 league records.