Wednesday, December 20, 2006
... joining the furor over Portsmouth High School's decision to deny Patrick Agin the right to wear chain mail and hoist a broadsword in his yearbook photo.
Click here to read about this developing story in the New York Times.
Seems the picture violates the school's no-weapons policy. The Rhode Island ACLU points out, though, that "the school’s position is particularly untenable ... given that the school mascot is a Revolutionary War soldier carrying a rifle." The school's principal, Robert Littlefield, says that the Minute Man mascot cannot be construed as "a threat to our educational environment" -- implying, of course, that boys in chain mail are far deadlier than men with muskets. [As a medievalist and a Bostonian I am deeply conflicted on that issue.]
To add a note of pathos: the chain mail was forged by Patrick Agin's uncle, his mother sells armor at fairs, Patrick belongs to the local Society for Creative Anachronism ... and the crestfallen teen describes the banned portrait as "one of the first good photos I’ve taken in a long time."