The Alaska School Activities Association has overturned the now-infamous disqualification call from last Friday over the fit of 17-year-old female student’s school-issued swimsuit, Anchorage Schoool District announced Tuesday.
The district was reviewing the call in light of allegations of sexism and racism.
“Following our review of the September 6 disqualification of a Dimond High School swimmer, to include interviews of multiple witnesses, the Anchorage School District has concluded that our swimmer was targeted based solely on how a standard, school-issued uniform happened to fit the shape of her body. We cannot tolerate discrimination of any kind, and certainly not based on body shape. This disqualification was heavy-handed and unnecessary,” the district wrote.
The district says with will reverse the DQ and return the voided points to the Dimond High School team. Additionally, the district seeks to revoke the certification of the official who made the call, Jill Blackstone, according to NBC affiliate KTUU. The ASAA executive director said the district “believes Blackstone has targeted Willis and her sister, a fellow teammate, in a pattern of unfair enforcement over the past year.”
Additionally, the district wants to suspend and later revise the National Federation of State High School Associations’ suit coverage rule. The district says the rule “is ambiguous and allows the potential for bias to influence officials’ decisions.”
The NFHS, the governing body for high school athletics, has standards for swimwear, recently updated for the 2019-2020 season. It states that “females shall wear suits which cover the buttocks and breasts. In August, the organization released a memo about suit coverage and circulated an illustrated example of appropriate attire.