Maryland Public School Sports Association Changes Head Covering Rule (VIDEO)

Je’Nan Hayes with Montgomery County Board of Education Members Pat O’Neill and Jill Ortman-Fouse.

After some controversy and some support from the community and the Montgomery County Board of Education, the Maryland Public Secondary Athletic Association changed a rule that required student athletes to provide special documentation for wearing head coverings during sporting events.

This change comes after referees refused to let Je’Nan Hayes, student at Watkins Mill High School, play with her team in a regional basketball game between Oxon Hill High School because of her head covering, called a hijab.

According to federation rules, if a participant is unable to expose their head because of religious reasons, the covering or wrap must be approved by the state association.

“We’re no longer requiring that letter. We’re no longer asking for someone to ask for it first,” Bill Reinhard, an MPSSAA spokesperson said.

In this MyMCMedia Extra Video, Hayes explains her reaction to the rule change:

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Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at and on Twitter @mittimegan.


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