Were he alive today, famous cavalry officer General George Patton would be appalled that a high school student in his old home town could be suspended for riding a horse to school. Hamilton-Wenham High School is, after all, in General Patton’s old hunting country, home to the Myopia Hunt since 1882.
High school senior Dan DePaolis asked his parents if he could ride their horse to school for Spirit Week. He dressed as a knight and had a friend and classmate act as his squire. The classmate walked on foot, holding the horse by the bridle, but the trio was allegedly accosted in the school parking lot by the assistant principal. The school official told DePaolis to get off the horse and remove the animal from the school grounds.
DePaolis’s father, who was nearby to supervise the boys and the horse asked what the problem was. The assistant principal allegedly said that bringing the horse onto school property was the equivalent of bringing in a loaded firearm.
Despite the fact that DePaolis was a good student who had never before been in trouble, he was suspended for two days and his friend was suspended for one day as an accomplice. Neither was allowed to attend the school dance on Halloween weekend. Many in that horsey community have voiced their support for the DePaolis family.
See a video of Dan DePaolis on YouTube. Read more details in Sam Trepani’s article in the Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle.
November 2, 2010