Religious freedom runs off track

Juashaunna Kelly, a Muslim girl from a Washington, D. C. high school, was disqualified during an invitiational meet in neighboring Montgomery County, Maryland, after meet officials ruled the unitard she wears for religious reasons violated National Federation of State High School Associations’ standards. The girl’s coach pointed out that she has competed in that uniform for two years without incident.

Follow the Washington Post’s coverage of this story here and here. And don’t miss this slide show. Update: this morning’s editorial.

The most troubling quote in either story is this one:

“What she needs to do is get some religious documentation saying it’s part of her heritage and bring it with her to every meet,” said Jim Vollmer, the commissioner of track for Montgomery County public schools.

An added twist: Kelly is running winter track right now, but she also excels at cross country. Much of the high school cross-country season takes place during Ramadan, so Kelly runs 30 miles per week or so while fasting.

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