Is there such a thing as too much spirit during a high school spirit week? School officials in Hamilton and Wenham seem to think so.
A senior at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School was suspended for two days last week after the 17-year-old dressed as a knight and took a three-minute tour on his family’s horse around the school. A friend who dressed as a squire and led the horse by the reins was given a one-day suspension and two hours community service.
"They told my son it's the equivalent of bringing in a loaded firearm to school" Ron DePaolis, the teenager's father said today in a telephone interview. But he "brought the spirit up of the student body. The kids need that, a little boost in the morale."
DePaolis said his son, Dan, approached him earlier in the week for permission to ride Pierre, the family’s horse, around the school grounds to celebrate spirit week.
Thinking it was a clever idea, DePaolis and his wife, an equestrienne, accompanied their son on his early morning march around the school.
But only minutes into the ride, the high school’s associate principal put a stop to the spectacle, suspending Dan on the spot, his father said.
DePaolis said the horse was calm, under control, and walking at a slow pace.
But school officials deemed the stunt to be dangerous over concerns the animal could hurt someone, DePaolis said.
School officials did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.
The teenager was back in school today, “excited” about his return after the incident, his father said.
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