Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bible Verse Gets Georgia Athlete Disqualified

The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) negated the third-place finish of John Green, a senior Wolverine of West Forsyth High School (near Atlanta), in the state cross country championship race because he wore a headband printed with “Isaiah 40:30-31.”  Officials said Green's uniform violated a vague and rarely enforced rule, even though they had approved Green's appearance before the race.  Green was photographed wearing the same headband in last year's race, yet he was NOT disqualified.

For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Atheists Threaten Georgia School for 'Football Baptisms'

Atheists Say Illegal Christianity is 'Rampant' in Georgia Schools

Coach Forced to Stop Praying After Games in Washington

Bible Harmful to Students, Must Ban: Parents Say

-- From "Bible Verse on Headband disqualifies Runner" posted at Valdosta Today (Valdosta, GA) 11/12/15

On Saturday, West Forsyth’s John Green was the third runner out of 226 to cross the finish line in the Class AAAAAA state championship race at Carrollton High School. Soon after collapsing from his effort and offering, as well as receiving, high fives from opponents as they walked by the cool-down tent, Green found out he placed 226th out of 226.

Green was disqualified by GHSA officials for sporting a white, plain head band with “Isaiah 40:30-31” written across the front—the same head band the Forsyth County News has photo evidence of him wearing when he was not disqualified in last year’s state meet.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Green's top 3 finish disqualified for headband with Bible verse deemed logo" by Michael Foster, Forsyth County News 11/11/15

According to West head coach Clayton Tillery and others involved in the West program, two GHSA officials cleared Green’s headband before the race. Then, a third man who was not in an official uniform or credentialed made a comment about the headband at the starting line and walked away.

When I approached GHSA officials on Saturday to discuss the ruling I was told “it was a uniform violation,” but when I asked to see in a GHSA handbook where the rule is I was shooed away.

The GHSA links its cross country handbook, a seven-page document, to its website. There are two pages that discuss uniform protocol. Page 4, titled State Meet Cold Weather Reminders, permits “beanies, toboggans, ear covers” of a single color, as long as they only have “one logo” visible. There is no mention of headbands.

The bigger issue, however, was enforcement. Dozens of runners had headbands on, and, according to Tillery, there were other runners in the race who wore headbands with Bible verses and the like written across them. There was also no manufacturer logo on Green’s headband because last year, Tillery says, he ripped it off. There’s also the glaring issue of the third official not communicating clearly to Green or the coaches.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Teen runner disqualified from state meet -- Was it the Bible verse?" by Todd Starnes, 11/11/15

“It is hard to understand how an unreadable, inside-out Bible verse is something harmful to our sport and worthy of a post-race disqualification of a student athlete,” Assistant Coach Scott Griffith said in a prepared statement.

“We felt given the race course conditions, that John would not be able to run safely without something to keep his hair out of his face,” Coach Griffith said.

Since two of the race officials had already cleared the headband, they told him to turn it inside out and run the race. And when John crossed the finish line he was summarily disqualified – for breaking a rule that wasn’t on the books.

John had worn the headband since the start of the 2015 season.  He also wore the headband at region and sectional meets.  At no point was he ever told to take it off.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Georgia School: Learn Islam or Take Lower Grade