'Unwritten rule': Student runner in Ohio disqualified for wearing hijab
SYLVANIA, OH – Noor Alexandria Abukaram runs varsity cross-country at Ohio's Sylvania Northview High School.
After crossing the finish line strong in her hardest race Saturday, officials informed her coach that she was disqualified.
"We go and try to find our placings on the papers that they put out, and my name wasn't there," she recalls.
Even though Noor had run in several races before, this time, officials pointed out that she did not have a waiver that allows runners to participate in a hijab.
"You sign it when you're violating a rule, so, you know, hijabs not being allowed is not a rule," Noor explains.
There is no written rule against wearing a religious head covering.
Instead, it's verbal, making it unclear to both athletes and coaches.
"All these officials knew about this unwritten rule, and I've been running and no one told me, and I guess i just felt like a clown," Noor says.
Noor has been a student-athlete for three years, and even has a FIFA approved hijab for soccer.
"My hijab is a part of me. Like if you're asking me to run without my hijab, you're asking me not to run. That's period. Point blank," she says.
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