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BBC Scotland's Morag Kinniburgh reports
"His lawyer says it is ridiculous that Jeremy could be expelled"
 real 56k

Thursday, 12 July, 2001, 18:57 GMT 19:57 UK
US knife row student faces another wait
Jeremy Hix
Jeremy Hix was found wearing a sgian-dhu
A student in the USA faces another wait to find out if he will be expelled from his high school for wearing a traditional Scottish knife to a dance.

Sixteen-year-old Jeremy Hix, who plays the bagpipes, wore the sgian-dhu as part of his full Scottish regalia.

On Wednesday the school board in Holt, in Michigan, was due to decide if Mr Hix should be expelled for violating the state's zero tolerance law against bringing weapons to school.

But the hearing ended a before a decision was taken.

Jeremy Hix
Mr Hix is confident he will be allowed back to school
Frank Fleischmann, Mr Hix's lawyer, asked the board to adjourn after learning that members received a memo offering an interpretation of the state law.

Mr Fleischmann said: "That, to us, smacks of a lack of impartiality. We had to ask for an adjournment."

The board will take up the matter again on 24 July.

Mr Hix said he did not think about the knife as a weapon when he attended the school dance in May.

He said: "It's part of the formal wear for a Scottish man. It's literally an item, like a piece of clothing. It doesn't stand out when you look at it. It's sort of natural."

The student said he had the sgian-dhu tucked into his sock for nearly two hours before a chaperone at the prom noticed it.

He was forced to leave the prom and could not attend classes for the rest of the school year.

Exemption

Under Michigan's law, which went into effect six years ago, students must be expelled for 180 days if they bring a weapon to school.

However, students are exempt if they can prove they have no intention to cause harm.

Mr Hix said he and his mother spent two years constructing the outfit, which includes a kilt, formal shoes and a feathered hat.

His mother, Colleen Hix, said: "It really didn't enter my mind that it was a knife and we should be worried."

If expelled, Mr Hix will not be able to attend another public school in Michigan.

He said he would complete his senior year at a private school.

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See also:

11 Jul 01 | Scotland
Knife edge wait for US student
25 Jul 00 | Scotland
Kilts dance to new tune
25 May 00 | Scotland
Duchovny's Highland fling
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