PORTLAND, OR -- The organization that oversees public school athletics has a new policy aimed at ending harassment and bullying at competitions. Oregon’s School Activities Association Executive Director Peter Weber says OSAA started working on addressing the issue in 2019. This summer, they created the Interrupting and Preventing Discriminatory Acts training, which is now required.
"The board approved it for all high school Athletic Directors, all high school coaches- paid or volunteer, and all officials that are registered with the state," Weber tells KBND News, "To date, we’ve had more than 7,000 people take the course since it was rolled out in August."
Weber says the issue goes beyond old-school trash talking, "There’s unsportsmanlike behavior and then there’s discriminatory behavior, and there is a distinction there. We don’t want either of them; but, certainly, the discriminatory and harassing-type behavior is at another level and that absolutely has to be curtailed." He adds, "They need to interrupt that behavior. So, whether that’s something they witness firsthand or something that’s reported to them." Weber says that interruption could mean stopping the event until the issue is dealt with.
Also continuing this year, OSAA’s STAR Initiative, encouraging Safety, Tolerance, Acceptance and Respect in high school sports.