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STONEBORO, PA. Conduct, not kilt, caused discipline, principal says



Published: Thu, May 31, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Prom regulations required long pants for boys, but Matt McCarl decided to wear a kilt.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

STONEBORO, Pa. -- A Lakeview High School official said it wasn't the kilt that Matt McCarl wore to the prom that got him sent to the school's reassignment center for a day.

It was the disrespect and insubordination that McCarl, 17, a Lakeview junior, showed to a teacher-chaperone at the prom's grand march that got him into hot water, said Principal Alan Baldarelli.

McCarl, who has Scottish ancestry, hadn't worn a kilt before but decided to wear one to the prom. He got it from Utilikilt, a Seattle-based company.

He said he thinks he was disciplined because he violated the dress code, and he wants the incident removed from his student record.

Lawyer writes: Atty. Joseph Valentino, representing McCarl and his parents, Verna and Scott, has written a letter to Baldarelli asking that McCarl's request be granted.

Baldarelli said the issue is under review.

McCarl said he was unaware of Lakeview's dress regulations for prom that, among other things, require boys to wear long pants and dress shoes. Regardless, he said he thinks the rule is discriminatory.

Baldarelli said the dress requirements were sent home with every student in February with the advice that, if students had any questions, they should contact his office.

McCarl didn't do that and showed up for the May 5 grand march wearing a kilt, he said.

At the march: A teacher-chaperone told him that he might be in violation of the dress code but didn't prevent him from marching, Baldarelli said, noting that witnesses said McCarl became loud and insisted he would march.

McCarl said he was told the following Monday that he would be sent to the reassignment center, a form of in-school suspension, for a day.

The problems: The letter, signed by Baldarelli, said the discipline was for failure to follow prom attire requirements, failure to follow a reasonable request from a teacher and insubordination on both counts.

It was the insubordination that drew the in-school suspension, Baldarelli said, but he noted that the kilt wasn't McCarl's only dress infraction.

He wasn't wearing dress shoes as required but was wearing a combat-style boot, and he also wore a long chain, which is forbidden at all school functions, Baldarelli said.




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