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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Utah Scottish Lad

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Greetings and Salutations to All my Kith and Kin and All the Ships in Outer Space:

Here's a news item from Utah that will be of interest to everyone who is Scottish, or of Scottish descent.


Associated Press
Sunday 17 May 2009
1303 Hours Mountain Time


A kilt-wearing middle school student will get an apology from a principal who said the boy could be mistaken for a cross-dresser.

Gavin McFarland says he wore the kilt twice to Rocky Mountain Junior High as a prop for a school art project.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with it," McFarland said.

But last Wednesday, Principal Craig Jessop told the 14-year-old Hooper boy that the outfit could be misconstrued as cross-dressing and forced McFarland to change his clothes.

McFarland removed the kilt, hand-sewn over 40 hours by his mother, and wore shorts the rest of the day.

"It's ridiculous," said Paula McFarland, the boy's mother. "A kilt is a distinctive garment. Nobody mistakes it for a skirt."

Weber School District spokesman Nate Taggart said the district recognizes the kilt as an expression of McFarland's Scottish heritage. He says the kilt was not inappropriate, especially if it was part of a school project.

Taggart says Jessop has been asked to apologize.

The McFarland family actively celebrates its Scottish heritage.

Preston McFarland, Gavin's father, manages a Web site for clan McFarlane and has a booth at Utah's Highland Games & Scottish Festival each year.

The kilt controversy has become a catalyst for discussion at school, Paula McFarland said.

"It's given (Gavin) a great chance to explain the Scottish kilt and tell them a little about what we do as a family," she said.


Freedom 1:23 p.m. May 17, 2009
Wow! it is a traditional dress for the Celtic people. Let it be! I think if a Scotsman, Englishman or Irishman want to dress in a celt then so be it!!!!!

HUH? 1:39 p.m. May 17, 2009
If a boy wearing a kilt can be accused of "cross-dressing," then what are we to make of girls wearing pants?

That school principal is an embarrassment to the state.

McSandy 1:39 p.m. May 17, 2009
Go Kilts!

Jessop 1:56 p.m. May 17, 2009
Maybe want to study where his heritage comes from. Could he be a "TROLL"?

kandee 1:56 p.m. May 17, 2009
Even if he were cross-dressing, what's so wrong with that? In many cultures, it's fashionable. And, in Japan, right now, it's a huge rage among high school kids.
They even compete on national TV.

overjoyed 1:58 p.m. May 17, 2009
Only in Utah...

BLHS & Kilt Fan 3:53 p.m. May 17, 2009
Where has this principal been? Right next door in the Ogden school district is Ben Lomond High home of the Scotts, Bagpippers, Bonnie Lassies. They proudly wear kilts. The wrestling team earn the privilage to wear a kilt. Wake up and learn about your neighborhood, especially if you are a principal.

Funny Guy? 4:00 p.m. May 17, 2009
That principal should send some girls home for wearing pants. Those girls don't know common descency and manners. What is the world coming to when a young girl is allowed to choose the clothes that she can wear while the young boys are forced to wear pants and shorts. I say expel all the girls and make the dress code for boys to all wear dress... I mean kilts to school.

Anonymous 4:34 p.m. May 17, 2009
Not supposed to be any underwear used with a kilt!!!

overjoyed 4:44 p.m. May 17, 2009
This story has now made national news. Great, yet another embarassment to the state of Utah for being "behind the times" & "having their heads in the sand".

Traditional Garb 4:54 p.m. May 17, 2009
The native Africans and tribespeoples of Australia often wear nothing but a loincloth. Would a black student with African or Australian heritage be allowed to come to school dressed in an outfit from his/her family's cultural heritage?

Disgusted 5:20 p.m. May 17, 2009
And we wonder about our children"s education. Mr. Jessop is a prime example of ignorance, you are responsible for our children's education and you don't even know yourself. I am a Scottish woman living in the US and I am highly offended by your comment. Shame on you and I wonder about the education in your school and your state, your comment is an embarrassment to your school and state!!!!

Skippy 5:24 p.m. May 17, 2009
It sounds like the principal needs to go back to high school to learn about culture!

Craig Jessop? 5:25 p.m. May 17, 2009
The former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Is he the same one that is the principal in this story?

Scott 5:35 p.m. May 17, 2009
I think the princaple like boys in shorts and didnt trust himself for mistaking the boy for one of his own!

Skippy 5:35 p.m. May 17, 2009
Craig Jessop? No way!

l 5:44 p.m. May 17, 2009
Totally different Craig Jessop. The real Dr. Jessop is head of the music and theater departments at Utah State University. He's bringing in Donny Osmond to sing at USU for Memorial Day, not trifling with junior high dress codes.

cheffy chef 5:46 p.m. May 17, 2009
Holy uneducated educator batman!
Sounds like this Jessop belongs with the rest on the back on the compound. Oh, pardon me that was probably intolerant.

Anonymous 6:01 p.m. May 17, 2009
Craig Jessop is dean of the department of music at Utah State. Not the same person.

John Charity Spring 6:15 p.m. May 17, 2009
This is an example of a principal giving into modern notions of political correctness and, in the process, losing all common sense. Indeed, this is why our public schools are in such a horrendous state. Instead of teaching the old fashioned values that made this Country great, public school officials spend all their time trying to make sure that no one is offended by any politically incorrect statement or behavior. This young man was simply honoring his heritage--something that should be encouraged, not stifled.

Is it really that big of a deal? 6:20 p.m. May 17, 2009
I see both points of view on this, however is it really that big of a deal? I mean the principal thought it was breaking one of the rules and meant no offense when he asked the child to change, Jessop was just doing his job! Leave him alone.

Stacie 6:27 p.m. May 17, 2009
Principals are still the same power hungry monsters that they were when I was a kid. Playing God over a bunch of little kids.

Properly Worn Kilt? 6:33 p.m. May 17, 2009

First of all, I'm very glad this news story went national, or I might not have seen it.

Thanks to the World Wide Web, probably every Scot will soon know of this report.

As the officially appointed bard of an ancient Scottish clan, I frequently have occasion to wear my kilt.

When properly worn, the kilt can't be mistaken for a feminine skirt.

Was the lad wearing a sporran with his kilt, or did he sport any of the other appropriate accoutrements that normally define Highlander regalia?

The kilt is strictly an item of male military uniform clothing, never intended to be worn by females.

The kilt is designed for close quarter combat and for living outdoors during inclement weather.

Wearing the kilt properly (i.e., with no underwear) is known as "going regimental", for that's how it's traditionally worn by Scottish military units.

Hurray for that young lad!

Alba gu brath! (Gaelic for: "Scotland Forever!")

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

Possible News Story 6:46 p.m. May 17, 2009

In connection with this report, the DESERET NEWS staff should be aware of a possible news story.

The LARGEST gathering of clans in all of recorded history is about to take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 25 and 26 July 2009.

Since URLs are forbidden, just use your search engine to look for THE GATHERING 2009.

Also, has any of the DESERET NEWS reporters been paying any attention to the current Scottish political scene?

History is being made, for the Scottish National Party won the last election, and their stated goal is to make Scotland completely free and independent, permanently dissolving their union with England.

I think their targeted deadline is next year.

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

In addition to posting this on my blog, I'll be sending this message to everyone in my address book who has Scottish heritage, and I'll also place a link to it on the FACEBOOK web site.

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

1 comment:

MacCoinneach said...

Hello Writesong, good to see you're blogging on things Scottish, rather than wasting your time worrying about race issues.

By the way, I've an apology for you: I remember giving you some grief over Morris Dancers performing at a Celtic Festival that you attended. Well, I was at the last Vancouver Highland Games last year. Gaberlunzie played a set and were immediately followed by Morris Dancers. Just a wee bit embarrassing, it was. Most of the expats in the crowd were wondering how the hell English country dancers ended at a Scottish gathering. Must be a Colonial thing, eh.

Anyhow, for what it's worth, you've got my apology.

Freedom 1:23 p.m. May 17, 2009
Wow! it is a traditional dress for the Celtic people. Let it be! I think if a Scotsman, Englishman or Irishman want to dress in a celt then so be it!!!!!

Ummmm, neither Scots, English, or Irish wear celts - I think the word you're looking for is "kilt". That being said, you'll not catch many English wearing them.