Timeline of Events

2018-2019 Season:

  • September 10, 2018—Dimond High School (DHS) Administration received the first communication from a parent indicating that her daughters had been targeted at a DHS swim team parent meeting regarding the coverage for her daughter’s swimsuit.
  • September 15, 2018—A DHS assistant principal (AP) worked with the parent to address her concerns. The AP directed the DHS swim coach to attend all parent meetings regarding the school’s swim team.
  • The school principal and the assistant principal spoke to other parents present at the September 10 meeting, asking them to stay positive and not target others in the future, to include photographing students to what they perceived as inappropriateness of attire.
  • The assistant principal met with a team parent that had taken pictures of others’ children on the swim deck and sent them to others to display the “inappropriate” attire of some of the swimmers on the team. The assistant principal indicated to the parent who took the photographs that it was not permissible for him to take pictures of others’ children and that he should stop immediately.
  • September 30, 2018—The school principal received a message from the parent in which the parent thanked her for taking the problem seriously and addressing her concerns.
  • October 1, 2018—The assistant principal reviewed uniform rules with both coaches and referees before the next DHS meet to ensure there was a level playing field for the swimmers that day and to ensure a positive environment at the swim meet.
  • The assistant principal continued to attend every swim meet at DHS and at away sites for the rest of the season. He met with officials before each meet began to ensure swimsuits met the rules stated in the officials’ handbook.
  • The 2018 season ended successfully after these issues were addressed, with no continued comments or concerns reported to DHS Administration.
  • May 6, 2019—The assistant principal asked the DHS swim coach to order new swimsuits for every member of the DHS team for the upcoming season. The purpose of this effort was to ensure each member of the team competed in a designated swim uniform. The suits ordered met the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which governs local Alaska high school sports.

 

2019-2020 Season:

  • Annually, the NFHS releases the new rule book for each sport with points of emphasis. One of those points for this year addressed swim uniform coverage. Consequently, the Alaska School Activities Association provided a focus to its Alaska schools participating in swimming and diving as well with guidance from NFHS.
  • On August 6, 2019, a pre-season swim coach meeting was hosted by Bartlett High School. Except for the West and Service high coaches, all swim coaches were present for the meeting. At the coaches’ meeting, uniform rules were reviewed as some language had changed during the off-season. It was agreed at the pre-season meeting that if there were any issues regarding athlete uniforms, coaches would be approached first by officials to resolve the problem before an athlete was disqualified. 
  • The 2019 swim season commenced without incident and three meets took place for the DHS swim team with no issues.
  • September 6, 2019—Chugiak and Dimond competed for the fourth meet of the season. The events from that meet occurred in the following order:
    • The student swam three of four races without disqualification.
      • First race: 200 IM – Student won the race
      • Second Race: 100 Freestyle – Student won the race but was disqualified (DQ). 
      • Third Race: 200 Freestyle Relay – Team finished 2nd – No DQ.
      • Fourth Race: 400 Free Relay – Team finished first. – No DQ
    • There was a change of officials part-way through the meet because the initial official had to depart early and had pre-coordinated with a different official to take over as the new meet referee. Upon assuming the duty, the second official disqualified the DHS swimmer for her uniform.
    • The DHS coach approached the official and inquired why the athlete was disqualified. In their exchange, the official stated she did not have time to address the coach because it would have delayed the entire meet (NFHS rules state the official is to approach the coach, not the athlete, for a disqualification. Also in the rules, the official has the ability to disqualify an athlete if he or she feels there may be a delay.)
    • The coach acknowledged that the official approached him to inform him of the disqualification and did not speak with the athlete directly.
    • The DHS coach filed a formal protest based on the official not following the correct procedure for a uniform disqualification. The athlete remained disqualified despite the coach’s protest.
    • The student’s parent emailed the principal and assistant principal to let them know of her daughter’s disqualification and her concerns.
    • The DHS coach will appeal the disqualification.

 

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