Runner Points To God, Track Officials Point To Rulebook, Runner Disqualified

  • Rick Chandler

Did an act of faith prevent a high school relay team from reaching the state track finals? We take you now to Columbus, Texas, where the Columbus High School (Mighty Cardinals!) boys 4×100-meter relay team had just finished first at the state meet qualifier, earning them a trip to the state meet. But wait — when he crossed the finish line, Columbus anchor Derrick Hayes gestured toward the sky with his hand.

And that got the entire relay team disqualified, per state scholastic rules that prohibit excessive celebrations, which “include raising one’s hands.”

Hayes’ father, KC Hayes, to

You cross a finish line and you’ve accomplished a goal and within seconds it’s gone. To see four kids, you know, what does that tell them about the rest of their lives? You’re going to do what’s right, work extra hard, and have it ripped away from you?”

I’m usually the first one to object when Christian dogma is forced down people’s throats, or used inappropriately — especially when it involves a public school setting. But file this one under Excessive Fussiness. It’s the same kind of Mrs. Ballbricker foolishness that gets grammar school kids suspended for bringing a plastic knife to lunch to spread peanut butter because the school has a zero-tolerance weapons policy.

Some parents are saying that this story is about religious freedom, but it’s not. It’s about school officials being total morons. If we want our children to grow up to be thinking, discerning individuals who react to people and situations on their individual merits, we should try demonstrating that to them while they’re in school.