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  1. #1
    Star Man's Avatar
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    Teen wants armor in yearbook photo

    Teen wants armor in yearbook photo
    Rhode Island boy loves Middle Ages, but school cites no-weapons policy
    The Associated Press
    Updated: 8:24 a.m. ET Jan 13, 2007

    PORTSMOUTH, R.I. - Seventeen-year-old Patrick Agin often spends a week whittling a single arrow, and he’s learning to make chain mail armor by hand. So when it came time to submit a senior yearbook photo, he selected a snapshot of himself wearing chain mail and slinging a prop sword over his shoulder.

    Portsmouth High School rejected the photo, citing a “zero tolerance policy” for weapons, and Agin and his family sued, claiming the school was violating his right to free speech.

    But Agin and others who spend their free time sword fighting and feasting on medieval-style meals also wonder why the school would discourage his passion for a hobby they say offers tens of thousands of people a way to learn about history through hands-on experience.

    “It’s no different from wanting to appear in a Boy Scout uniform,” said Tamara Griggs, a spokeswoman for the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group of 35,000 dues-paying members that stage mock battles, learn arts like calligraphy and conduct demonstrations in shopping malls. Agin belongs to the organization.

    Popular activity in area
    During the winter, the society holds one-on-one combat events at churches and schools. In better weather, regional groups called “kingdoms” rent campgrounds and stage epic battles with as many as 1,000 soldiers per side.

    Portsmouth Principal Robert Littlefield said allowing a student to brandish a weapon in his senior portrait was against school policies. The school isn’t obligated to provide a forum for every student’s outside interests, he said.

    “I don’t see our action as discouraging anyone’s hobby,” Littlefield said. “I don’t see our yearbook as a vehicle where we guarantee everyone an opportunity to broadcast their hobby to our audience.”

    The ACLU, which filed the suit in federal court in December, calls the zero tolerance policy inconsistent. It points out that the school’s mascot, a patriot, is sometimes shown carrying a weapon.

    A federal judge asked the state education commissioner to offer a recommendation in the case. He is expected to do so within weeks.

    Agin came to the society through his mother, Heidi Farrington, who sews and sells re-enactment clothing to medieval fans.

    “They really appreciate people researching things, whether it’s textiles or armor or food or any of the skills that would have been applicable,” Farrington said. She said she learned to spin wool through the organization.

    Bad decision about individuality?
    She said the high school’s decision sends a bad message about free thinking and individuality and could conceivably lead the school to ban masterpieces like Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” which depicts a fatal stabbing.

    “The schools have gotten so into standardization that they are starting to push it on the kids,” she said.

    Ed Morrill of New York, a regional director whose society alter ego is Viscount Edward Zifran of Gendy, called the group “a very good place for someone to come and learn something new.”

    Morrill, who began attending society events in 1973, said a lot of people don’t understand the group’s appeal, but he does: “It’s not your father’s organization. It’s something that’s different but something that’s socially acceptable.”

    Society member Nicole Toscano understands the passion that would make someone pose for the yearbook in armor. The student at Simmons College in Boston joined the society at age 7 and works out to keep fit for mock sword fights.

    “It’s just like any other sport or any martial art. I enjoy doing it just like I was playing football,” said Toscano, who also practices calligraphy.

    Agin, who is considering joining the military after graduating this year, said he’ll likely opt for a pink tuxedo, not armor, to wear to his senior prom.

    In the meantime, he plans to take part in more re-enactments.

    “I’ve actually been talking to a knight to become a squire,” he said.


    URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16607420/?GT1=8921
    ...........................................

  2. #2
    Ducky's Avatar
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    News that will surprise no one: I don't have a problem with the photo, or its inclusion in the yearbook. I'm very familiar with the SCA and it's a very healthy and enjoyable persuit. If they're allowed to submit photos, then the school should suck it up. It's not as if he's up there with a Saturday Night Special while flashing a gang sign.
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  3. #3
    BEB
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    I have no problem with the kid submitting that picture. There's nothing illegal about it, and I bet the yearbook has dozens of other pictures of things that aren't allowed on the campus. If not, the staff was sure lame this year.

  4. #4
    General Patten's Avatar
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    sounds ok to me...

    its not like he's wearing kevlar and holding a MAC-10, trying to be 50-Cent...
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    Always include Kevlar in your daily diet.


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  5. #5
    10-42Adam's Avatar
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    I don't see a problem with it. It would be a different story if he were trying to pose with firearms and body armor or something. If that's his hobby, then let him sport it...
    Calm Like A Bomb...

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  6. #6
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    Wow! That's taking "zero tolerance" overboard!

    If they didn't have a clear criteria for photos, they don't give much time to get another picture submitted in time for print.

    Still....I have to wonder why he couldn't submit one with a shield, instead of a sword, when the first one was rejected.
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  7. #7
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    I think it's good that the school is sticking to their guns on the no weapons policy. Although there is a difference between a role-playing hobby and gang banging, if they let him pose with a fake sword it would open the door for people to pose with fake guns, etc.
    "never bring paws to a gunfight" - Jenna

  8. #8
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vengeance05 View Post
    I think it's good that the school is sticking to their guns on the no weapons policy. Although there is a difference between a role-playing hobby and gang banging, if they let him pose with a fake sword it would open the door for people to pose with fake guns, etc.
    Last time I checked, swords weren't associated with gang activity, and I should think that's why they have the rule to begin with. I can't even tell you how many pics I saw of high schoolers hunting when I was in school, and the only people who got their panties in a wad about that were the PETA types.

    And PDawg, I think he was looking to show how he goes onto the field. A lot of fighters don't use shields, they use two swords instead, and you CAN'T take the field without a sword.

    Makes me wonder what they'd do if a martial arts student posed in a gi with their hands at the ready. Would they deny that on the basis that their hands are weapons?
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  9. #9
    Star Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    Last time I checked, swords weren't associated with gang activity, and I should think that's why they have the rule to begin with. I can't even tell you how many pics I saw of high schoolers hunting when I was in school, and the only people who got their panties in a wad about that were the PETA types.

    And PDawg, I think he was looking to show how he goes onto the field. A lot of fighters don't use shields, they use two swords instead, and you CAN'T take the field without a sword.

    Makes me wonder what they'd do if a martial arts student posed in a gi with their hands at the ready. Would they deny that on the basis that their hands are weapons?
    Reminds me of the time the state made me register my arms as concealed weapons so I could wear long sleeves!
    ...........................................

  10. #10
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Man View Post
    Reminds me of the time the state made me register my arms as concealed weapons so I could wear long sleeves!
    Is that why they don't let you wear shorts outside of the house? You've failed to register a different gun?



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  11. #11
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    ducky keep that private


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    Is that why they don't let you wear shorts outside of the house? You've failed to register a different gun?



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  13. #13
    markw76's Avatar
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    Around here, they prohibit wearing Scout uniforms in many schools. Hardly any school PTAs sponsor Troops any more, most have gone to church sponsors, and there's always a big hissy fit when the Scouts ask to do any recruiting at the schools. Same misused Church-State separation premise. Heck, one poor kid was expelled for having a miniature plastic GI Joe type rifle in his backpack. No tolerance? No sense.
    "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible actions." ~ George Washington.

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  14. #14
    Star Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    Is that why they don't let you wear shorts outside of the house? You've failed to register a different gun?




    Hey my nickname is TriPod , How'd you know? HEHEHEEE
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  15. #15
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    How 'bout this


    The school said no

    SO NO!
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  16. #16
    markw76's Avatar
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    Be interesting if they allowed swords in a school play...jmur5074's correct of course, they did say no, but they should be taken to task for not having clear criteria if that is the problem, or for hypocrisy if they aren't being consistant.
    "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible actions." ~ George Washington.

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  17. #17
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    If you don't get everything your way....sue.

  18. #18
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Let's face it, if the schools had their way now, anything that would possibly offend anyone would be banned. Someone's got to draw a line in the sand and let them know when they've taken political correctness to an extreme. And no one listens to anyone without a lawyer.
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  19. #19
    markw76's Avatar
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    Admin got real PC one year where I worked. A bunch of us decided we were going to tow the letter of the General Order no matter what. We ended up deluging the supervisors with "I don't want to violate the order, and so-and-so wants me to do such and such" questions. After four hours of that, we got word to go back to the previous procedure. We never heard about it again. Maybe the young man should submit an image with the same pose, only leave the sword out, or photoshop it out. Like, an empty hand pretending to hold something. Or blur it.
    "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible actions." ~ George Washington.

    A Dead Enemy Is A Peaceful Enemy - Blessed Be The Peacemakers.

  20. #20
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw76 View Post
    Admin got real PC one year where I worked. A bunch of us decided we were going to tow the letter of the General Order no matter what. We ended up deluging the supervisors with "I don't want to violate the order, and so-and-so wants me to do such and such" questions. After four hours of that, we got word to go back to the previous procedure. We never heard about it again. Maybe the young man should submit an image with the same pose, only leave the sword out, or photoshop it out. Like, an empty hand pretending to hold something. Or blur it.
    Pull a Spielberg and put a walkie talkie in his hand, maybe?
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