The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) today submitted an open public records request with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). The request asks for information regarding policies about and investigations into student athlete discrimination on account of race or hair and stems from an incident that occurred last month at Buena Regional High School where a Black high school wrestler was forced by a referee to cut his dreadlocks before a match or forfeit.
We are asking for:
(1) A copy of the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NJSIAA and the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights regarding unsportsmanlike bias incidents in high school sports which was the subject of a June 18, 2018 letter sent by the NJSIAA and the Division of Civil Rights to New Jersey administrators.
(2) All documents relating to NJSIAA investigations of allegations of bias involving race and student athlete hair since the execution of the above-described MOU in 2013.
LDF remains deeply committed to ensuring fairness and equal rights for all Black students. We are working to eliminate the practice of hair policies serving as pretexts and justifications for racial discrimination in schools and workplaces.
Read the full request here.