IHSA policy to further protect students against hate speech & harassment

Lea Lara, staff writer

This Policy defines hate speech or even harassment as verbal, non-verbal, or physical acts aimed at a person’s sex, gender identification, race, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or even disability. Teenagers say or do things that have to do with hate speech or harassment and they do not understand the meaning of it or the consequences. Although everyone makes mistakes therefore we educate them so they don’t continue to keep making those same mistakes. 

Teenagers that are playing sports and if a hate speech has been heard then the game officials will stop the play and they will report to both head coaches of both of the teams.The player would be suspended if the hate speech was confirmed.  “The message this policy is sending is that addressing hate speech and harassment is bigger than the game,” said IHSA Assistant Executive Director Beth Sauser. 

The reason why the high school directors are working on to improve the policy is for players or even students in general  to feel protected and to compete without having to fearing, intimidation, or harassment. Over the years they’ve seen hate speech so they’re adopting a hate speech policy conference. The message sends to all students, coaches, fans,  and administrations. IHSA respects all people no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation.  

In conclusion, hate speech has been going around schools, public, anywhere and anytime. Therefore, IHSA is adding policies to protect students against hate speech and harassment. They are also educating those who have/had spread hate speech or harassed someone. They are teaching them why to not do it and the meaning behind their words or actions. IHSA respects all students and their abilities and contributions to their sports programs. It’s best to educate the students so they won’t continue making the same mistakes.