Calgary Herald: WSO of Canada backs teens right to wear kilt to grad

"...the World Sikh Organization of Canada announced it had sent a letter to the Westwind School Division in support of Jacobs. The group said it saw in his story some similarities with Sikh struggles to maintain symbols of their cultural roots.

http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/city/story.html?id=fee47146-3dc3-4376-af82-f1fbdf5dfc55

Joe Fries

A 19-year-old Raymond, Alta., student is excited he'll be able to wear a kilt to his graduation ceremony after all.

"I'm happy . . . just so full of energy. I just don't know how to describe it," Hamish Jacobs said Wednesday after learning Westwind School Division trustees had decided to back away from a policy that forbade him from baring his legs.

He'll now be able to sport the formal wear of his Scottish ancestors when he accepts his high school diploma in June.

The policy requires all male students to wear dress pants and shoes under their gowns, which ruled out the kilt.

School board chairman Lance Miller said trustees are still scheduled to review the policy Tuesday at their next board meeting, but decided to act sooner to quell the controversy.

"Obviously it was a policy that needed to be revisited," said Miller. "But like I said, there was too much public outcry to wait until the policy could be formally reviewed."

He conducted a straw poll with trustees Wednesday and found they were in favour of bending the rules, he said.

Miller felt the saga was blown out of proportion, but Jacobs disagreed: "This is something big in my life."
Support for Jacobs, an aspiring automotive technician who works part-time as a pizzeria supervisor, came from many quarters, including a Facebook page that attracted close to 2,400 members.

And on Wednesday, the World Sikh Organization of Canada announced it had sent a letter to the Westwind School Division in support of Jacobs. The group said it saw in his story some similarities with Sikh struggles to maintain symbols of their cultural roots.

Miller noted that even without the rule reversal, Jacobs would have been able to wear his kilt to other graduation events.

Raymond is southeast of Lethbridge.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald


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