OSAA issues new rule to curb hate speech at games

Evan Fraiser, Staff Writer

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OSAA issued a new “Zero Tolerance” rule for hate speech towards athletes at games. The rule says, “Discriminatory harassment and bullying behavior will not be tolerated.”

This prevents students from performing certain chants and cheers during sports events, although it hardly prevents student sections from supporting their own team and provoking the opposing team. The rule doesn’t just affect student sections and spectators; it also affects the athletes themselves. The athletes have restrictions on hate speech, and the restrictions are almost identical.

The only change to the athletes’ end is that punishment can vary from expulsion to suspension from the team and/or the school. The punishment is decided by the hosting school or the school being attended, depending on the situation. So far, athletes say this rule has been effective.

“This rule makes opposing teams feel better for not getting shamed or looked down upon,” offensive lineman Dylan Nguyen said. “But once again, this is high school and things will always get competitive.”

Nguyen later said that this rule helps him watch what he says at games so he represents his school properly. It will be interesting to see how the rule will affect other sports throughout the school year.