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Student Benched For Wearing Hijab Sparks Rule Change

It's a victory for religious freedom sparked by a Philadelphia teen who loves the game of basketball.Mastery C...

Posted: May 30, 2018 8:25 AM
Updated: May 30, 2018 8:25 AM

It's a victory for religious freedom sparked by a Philadelphia teen who loves the game of basketball.

Mastery Charter sophomore Nasihah Thompson-King has been playing basketball since seventh-grade. She loves the game but was shocked that she was asked to remove her traditional Muslim hijab headgear during a playoff game back in February.

"It was our second playoff game against Palumbo and when it was time for me to get in the game a referee told me I couldn't play with my hijab on. I had to take it off if I wanted to play, so I decided just not to play," said Thompson-King.

At the time, the referee was enforcing a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association rule requiring athletes to get prior approval for any head garment for religious or medical reasons. But Thompson-King had never had a problem wearing her hijab before.

"I just didn't wanna take it off because of my religion," she said.

The incident sparked outrage over the constitutionality of the policy and calls for PIAA rule changes. That's when Pennsylvania state Sen. Shariff Street got involved.

"We're asking you to change your rule books to accommodate First Amendment rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression," Street said.

This week, the PIAA did change its policy, now stating that religious headwear is permitted without prior approval.

"I was excited when I was told the news and I was happy for myself and anybody else who wears a hijab when they play basketball so they won't have any questioning about the hijab," said Thompson-King.

"I'm absolutely proud of my Nasihah, that's my only daughter and I'm so proud of her, of what she's done and playing basketball and also taking a stand," said Nasihah's mother, Fatima Thompson.

"I have two more years of basketball to play and I'm looking forward to seeing more females and males wearing their religious head covering," said Nasihah.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
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Grant7248179
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Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
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Cass6024110
Henry5903110
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Noble581688
Jackson509476
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Ohio57911
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1109697

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1289521469
Cuyahoga1158802216
Hamilton814201251
Montgomery525861049
Summit484551006
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Butler39098606
Stark33355930
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Delaware18892136
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Fairfield16589204
Trumbull16560483
Medina15618273
Greene15292248
Clark14244306
Wood13296200
Portage13254216
Allen11919239
Richland11611211
Miami10857225
Wayne9153225
Columbiana9039230
Muskingum8909135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8654251
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Erie8058165
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Sandusky5444126
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Seneca5350128
Washington5321109
Athens524460
Auglaize502487
Mercer487785
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435997
Putnam4336104
Defiance432399
Fulton432274
Crawford4046110
Brown402761
Logan387678
Preble3859105
Clinton379266
Ottawa373581
Highland360266
Williams348578
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318454
Perry297350
Morrow291940
Fayette285750
Hardin275765
Henry273867
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269360
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Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197548
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110124
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
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