November 02, 2010
A strange suspension stemming from an incident during a school's spirit week proves that you can have too much school spirit, at least in the state of Massachusetts.
According to the Boston Globe, Hamilton-Wenham (Mass.) High student Dan DePaolis was suspended for two days last week for riding his family's horse around the perimeter of the school, imitating a knight. DePaolis was led by a friend wearing a squire costume, and the horse walker was also suspended for a day -- and forced to perform two hours of community service -- for his involvement in the stunt.
Hamilton-Wenham's teams are known as the Generals, so the stunt wasn't based on the school's mascot itself.
"They told my son it's the equivalent of bringing in a loaded firearm to school" Ron DePaolis, the teenager's father, told the Globe. "[He] brought the spirit up of the student body. The kids need that, a little boost in the morale."
According to Ron DePaolis, his son was suspended by the school's associate principal on the spot, as soon as the administrator learned of the stunt. The younger DePaolis' galavanting stroll around the school lasted only three minutes, and had been approved by both his parents, who were also in attendance filming the video you see above.
Still, those justifications weren't enough to keep Dan DePaolis in the school's good graces. Administrators deemed the horse was dangerous and could hurt other students, despite Ron DePaolis claiming the animal was completely calm and walking at a slow pace.
We shudder to think what would have happened if Hamilton-Wrenham's mascot was an elephant or tiger.
DePaolis reportedly returned to class on Monday, with the suspension completed on Friday. There's no word on whether he has plans for any future equestrian stunts, but the odds are they won't involve his high school perimeter if he does.