Student Removed from High School Dance for Wearing a Kilt

Student Removed from High School Dance for Wearing a Kilt
By: Lauren Keith

Jackson, MO - Nathan Warmack says he just wanted to show pride for his Scottish heritage. So he wore a kilt to the "Silver Arrow" dance last Saturday at Jackson High School.

But when he got there, the principal said the kilt was a distraction and told him to change. Now, Nathan and his parents want school leaders to change their dress code policy.
The Warmacks say the high school principal told their son he was “dressed as a clown,” so they feel their heritage was not only called into question, but it was also made fun of.

However, Principal Rick McClard says he doesn't remember that. “I don't remember saying that, but I did tell him it wasn't appropriate and I wouldn't allow it and there was a long dispute. I felt like he was trying to make a statement and it wasn't the right time or place to make it.”

"He wore this in honor of his heritage. We do not consider him dressed as a clown. He's got a witness saying Mr. McClard said to the effect of "dressed as a clown,” says Terry Warmack, Nathan’s father.
Terry Warmack says the kilt represents a long line of Scottish heritage for the Warmack family, and it's considered formal wear in that country.

That's why the family is shocked their son couldn't wear it to his high school dance.

Nathan says he's researched his family genealogy and even saved up his own money to buy this kilt."It was embarrassing. I was hurt when I was told to change,” said Nathan.

His parents are helping him question Jackson school policy.The policy clearly states, students can't wear items of clothing the principal feels might cause a distraction, and the principal decides if a student has to change their clothing.

"I don't think it's appropriate. I don't think it would be in the classroom, it's a distraction, and very much so at the dance," said McClard.

"What I want out of this is nothing more is for the school to look at my son or anyone of any race or religion, creed or cult, whatever family heritage it should b all right for you to wear your family dress to a formal dance,” said Terry Warmack.

“It really hurt, it really did,” said Nathan.

Principal Rick McClard says he thinks the dance was not a heritage dance, so the kilt was not appropriate.He is quick to point out though, if dress is something that represents religion, then the school must allow a student to wear that.

Meanwhile, the Warmack family tells me they're planning on going to the school board to change the school policy and they hope Nathan can wear a kilt to the next big dance - his senior prom.