After months of discussion, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association decided to continue their contract with the National Federation of State High School Associations Network, but they were warned over the racist comments made during the girls’ basketball playoff game in Norman vs Midwest City.
To make sure the public understands their stance against prejudice, they have put in place a diversity, equity and inclusion policy.
OSSAA and several school districts were squeamish about the hateful words announcer Matt Rowan used in a playoff game earlier this year.
Rowan was fired by NFHS Network, the streaming company under contract with OSSAA, but OSSAA’s Cecilia Robinson-Wood and the head of Millwood Public Schools wanted to know how we were preventing this from happening again. She hopes that an annual diversity equity and inclusion training for anyone working with students at OSSAA events will address this issue.
“When you expose people to training, it allows them to think about who they are and what they think the result is generally that everyone should be treated fairly,” said Robinson-Woods.
NFHS Network said public address advertisers and the broadcast crews they outsource will also need to undergo training.
The NFHS network released a statement to News 9:
“The NFHS network is proud of the steps we have taken to better educate our staff and contractors on the importance of diversity and inclusion. The NFHS network now requires third-party advertisers to take two mandatory courses before being hired: Implicit bias and Play-by-Play ad.
“The NFHS has partnered with Project Implicit to create the Implicit Bias course. Studies support that there is a relationship between implicit biases and real-world behavior, which underscores the importance of being aware of and dealing with your biases. This course defines and illustrates examples of implicit biases and provides research on their impact on our society.
“The Play-by-Play Announcement Course shows how to professionally prepare for a match as a play-by-play announcer, how to use the correct tone and inflection, and the important aspects of the play-by-play announcer. by-play during a live broadcast.
“Compulsory training is provided by the NFHS Learning Center.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with OSSAA and all Oklahoma schools. “
“Every child deserves a chance to succeed. The notion of fairness is not such that we can target a certain group or something. It’s about looking at everyone and saying why a certain group isn’t doing something or receiving something that seems to be more punitive or more restrictive than the others, ”said Robinson-Woods.
OSSAA and the NFHS network hope that this new policy will ensure that students have the opportunity to compete in a safe and unbiased school environment.