This Is How Stupid High School Had Become
DQ'dOn April 10, Miranda Clark was getting ready to line up for the start of the 1,600 meter race at the Ellsworth Invitational. The Russell (Kansas) High student was ready to roll when she noticed that she had in earrings, a result of a recent ear piercing. Knowing that wearing jewelry in a race is forbidden in sporting events by the Kansas High School Activities Association, Clark knew she couldn't run with her earrings showing, so she did what most athletes do to make jewelry less conspicuous: She covered them up with tape.
As it turns out, that decision was the worst she could have made. As soon as Clark finished the event, a track official, Jim Cross, approached her and asked what was under her tape. When she admitted that the tape was covering an earring, Cross promptly judged that she was exhibiting "unsportsmanlike conduct," a ruling that disqualified the Russell (Kansas) High runner from the entire meet; Clark was scheduled to run the 3,200 meters later in the afternoon.
Perhaps most infuriating for Cross and her teammates was this bizarre technicality: If Clark had left her earrings in but not covered them up with tape she would have only received a warning and not been disqualified. As such, by trying to do the right thing, the Russell running was punished more harshly than if she had openly disobeyed state regulations.