Moratorium means student athletes can wear hair beads for now

The State Public High School Athletic Association is now accused of violating Federal and State anti-discrimination laws by banning student athletes from wearing hair beads.

The accusation comes from the State Education Department.

The NYSPHSAA put a temporary hold on the ban this afternoon, but the State Department says that rule should not be reinstated.

The Monohasen Track team says they’re happy with the decision to allow student athletes to wear beads, but as an act of solidarity they still plan on wearing their hair in beads Thursday at their track meet.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has put a moratorium on the ban on hair beads for student athletes.

As NewsChannel 13 reported on Monday, guidance circulated Sunday night saying the beads were not allowed without special waivers.

Coaches NewsChannel 13 spoke with said that they felt the ban targeted Black students. The coaches would have had to carry documents on hand at all times to prove the waiver.

In a statement released on Tuesday, NYSPHSAA said, "Hair adornments, including beads, may be worn provided they are secured and do not present a safety hazard to the player, teammates or opponent."

This means the Mohonasen High School track team can claim victory without ever having stepped out onto the track.

DIGITAL EXTRA: Full press conference with Dr. Robert Zayas with NYSPHSAA

Both the girls and boys track teams voted unanimously to forfeit their dual track meet on Thursday if their teammates weren’t allowed to wear beads in their hair. They sent a letter to NYSPHSAA demanding change.

Less than 24 hours later, NYSPHSAA issued a moratorium — which means as of now, beads will be permitted.

However, this is not the final decision. A committee will collect data, analyze the rule and determine at a later date whether to permanently change it.

Hear from the head of NYSPHSAA about why the decision was made now, and reaction from Mohonasen’s coach by watching the video of Dan Levy’s story.