May 18, 2009

Principal to apologize over kilt flap

A Utah school district said a principal will apologize after he ordered a 14-year-old to change out of his kilt because it could be seen as cross-dressing.

Gavin McFarland, 14, a student of Scottish heritage at Rocky Mountain Junior High in West Haven, said he wore his traditional Scottish kilt to school Wednesday as part of a school project and his apparel gathered numerous compliments from teachers and classmates, The (Ogden, Utah) Standard-Examiner reported Monday.

However, the student said he was ordered to change out of his kilt before the school day was over by Rocky Mountain Junior High principal Craig Jessop, who said the clothing could be misconstrued as cross-dressing.

I was kind of surprised, Gavin said. No teachers had gotten mad at me for it. A lot of them thought it was really cool.

Weber School District spokesman Nate Taggart said Jessop has agreed to issue a personal apology to the student.

We certainly do not consider wearing a kilt, especially for a school project, as cross-dressing, Taggart said. We recognize the kilt as a display of Scottish heritage.