The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) has created a new bias reporting form in response to discriminatory and racist incidents at high school athletic games.
“These kinds of behaviors have no place in our schools and communities and the WIAA encourages, students, spectators, officials, coaches and administrators to help create safe and fair environments for competition,” according to a Jan. 25 statement from the WIAA.
In December 2021, the Camas School District launched an investigation after a Portland high school girls basketball coach alleged the Camas student section was yelling racial slurs at members of the girls basketball team, according to The Columbian.
On Jan. 14, a high school student from Olympia was recorded using a racial slur against a Lacey boys basketball player, according to the Tacoma News Tribune. Olympia School District investigated the incident.
The bias reporting form, developed by the organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusions Committee, is “an effort to face these incidents directly,” the WIAA stated.
The form allows people to report discriminatory or inappropriate behavior seen, heard or witnessed at any WIAA member school event. The harmful behavior could include derogatory cheers, chants or slurs used against teams or specific individuals about one’s race, gender identity, disability, religion or age, the website states.
After an incident is submitted, WIAA staff notify the school district involved to verify an investigation into the incident has been launched, according to the organization. Anonymous reports are not accepted.
Step-by-step procedures for addressing discriminatory behavior during any activities has also been provided to all schools within the WIAA.
The WIAA cannot change an educator’s or coach’s employment status, nor force a school district to take disciplinary actions against a student, staff member, or public visitor, the organization states on the their website.
To learn more or view the bias reporting form, visit wiaa.com.