November 4, 2010

Another Assinine, Zero (Horse) Tolerance School Decision; Another Excuse to Post a Python Skit

Monique Chartier

... minus the horses, of course, because, after all, bringing a horse to school is as dangerous as bringing a loaded firearm.

Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School senior Dan Depaolis, 17, was suspended for two days after he rode a horse into the school's parking lot while wearing medieval garb as part of a spirit week stunt, WFXT-TV, Boston, reported Monday.

H/T Michael Graham.

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The horse's name is Pierre ??

Posted by: Sammy at November 4, 2010 4:43 PM

In the far distant past (about the same time I was bringing my shotgun to school), my friends from the mid-west tell me they regularly rode their horses to school.

Apparently the schools had "tie up" facilities for the students, sort of in the way that the University of Manitoba has electric dip sticks in the parking lots for students. I never thought to ask about the "droppings".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 4, 2010 5:03 PM

PS, Hamilton is quite definitely "horse country". It is the home of Myopia Hunt, for that matter it was Gen. Patton's home. He had a few horses.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 4, 2010 5:07 PM

I side with the school department on this one.

Obviously neither the boy nor his parents sought permission from the school “first” to ride the privately-owned horse through the school grounds while students, teachers, school buses were arriving which would be very distracting to the horse.

I applauded the parents and son for having a squire on a lead-line to help guide the horse however all it would take would be one unknown sudden sound or mass movement to startle the horse causing it to run wild with or without the son on the horse on school grounds making them libel for law suit and or additional personal injury to additional school students.

My understanding everything worked out except for the suspension after it was all over. People need to understand, you need to ask permission first before you do things when you could endanger other people in a “public place”.

Permission could have been granted with accommodation for the horse and rider as so not to endanger other students, teachers, cars, school buses and even the rider and squire.

I visit one of the largest displays of equestrian public parades in the United States held annually and “NO” motorized vehicles are allowed in the parade down city streets with the horses or any animal.

Dumb move!

Posted by: Ken at November 4, 2010 11:51 PM

Ken, you are 100% right, in any set of circumstances, anything could happen. For instance if he brought his car to school, the brakes could fail, the steering could fail, the high pressure fuel injection lines could burst into flames. But, he wouldn't need permission.

The question to my mind is "why couldn't he just have been asked to leave"? What necessitates a suspension? Is this another "zero tolerance" policy?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 5, 2010 12:11 AM

Ken and everybody else,

One of our biggest downfalls is that we have been conditioned to ask for "permission" from government. Not only that,but to pay for it as well.

Permission to repair your home,permission to add onto or build a home,permission to marry,permission to operate a motor vehicle on public roads,permission to parade,permission to rally and demonstrate,permission to fish,permission to hunt,permission operate a business,permission to exercise second amendment rights....
there are probably lots more.

I certainly don't advocate anarchy,but it's gotten to the point that a huge amount of our activities are controlled.
It seems we now agree to be subjects and I submit that this is something we as a society should consider changing,lawfully of course.

We are supposed to be free,people. We are supposed to be a free people.

Posted by: helen at November 5, 2010 2:26 AM

Warrington Faust,

I am going to ASSUME it happened and was over before anyone of supervisory management found out.

As I remember, if you wanted to drive your car to high school and park in the student parking lot you had to get permission and a pass plus maintain your grades for the privilege so I will ASSUME this is still the case with RI and nearby MA schools.

Of course we all know when you ASSUME you can be wrong and I think that is what happened in this case for spirit week, the student and family.

I’ve been through this before with my godchild when I’ve asked if parents approval was obtained first and then when I mention it later to them I find out it’s the first time they heard of it!

I was always taught when in doubt, ask before you do it. By asking you side step any problems down the road.

Posted by: Ken at November 5, 2010 2:31 AM

"permission could have been granted".

By who? The king?

Posted by: helen at November 5, 2010 2:43 AM


I hear you loud and clear!

I happen to work (till I got a better job) as one of those nasty Gestapo local building inspector that was power hungry and costing you all that extra money and time trying to do that very small home project you wanted to do to make your life and families better.

What most do not understand that there are a set of documented construction safety standards and documented life safety standards that all building inspectors must follow based on the national fire safety code that Factory Mutual Insurance and Underwriters Laboratories tests to.

I’ll never forget the day I refused to pass a three flue fireplace of a new house constructed by a mason that was in business over 30 years because the grout lines were larger than the standards allowed. The prime contractor could not sell the house. The mason way really upset and went up on the roof and kicked the chimney. The prime contractor said to everyone surprise the whole 2-story three flue chimney collapsed to the ground.

There is a reason there are standards and checks that are in place. Not to make money for the government or exert power over the people but to save lives and property.

I never asked a contractor or tradesman to do something that I could not open the code book and point to page, chapter, verse and standard to substantiate my request. I never demanded knowing that their livelihood was at stake and so was my reputation as being fair and by the book.

The only job I ever RED TAGGED (having utilities shut off resources) was the U.S. Federal Post Office for not having smoke and heat detectors installed to shut down air handling units in case of a fire in their brand new constructed building in the city. They told me I had no jurisdiction as I was municipal but they required trades people to pull municipal building permits. Once you pull a municipal permit you answer to the local inspector. After three months they installed the smoke and heat detectors and the utilities were turn back on. You want to talk about politics for those 90 day!

Good news is the national building code was adopted and now all 50 states go by the same code and standards.

We talk about accountability all the time but we want have a tendency to subvert it or cry foul when we become involved in the accountability of our own actions not taking the time to understand the full process why that law and requirement is in place.

Posted by: Ken at November 5, 2010 3:13 AM


Since you feel trained horses in public places are a hazard,do you think that horse mounted police patrols should be abolished?

Posted by: helen at November 5, 2010 3:16 AM


You said; "permission could have been granted".
By who? The king?”

If I remember correctly if you want to do something out of the ordinary in a high school, you either pass it by your homeroom teacher or go to the front office and ask the principal or assistant principal.

As for mounted police, their horses are trained to accept loud noises, guns going off, working around motor vehicles and crowds of people. They will not spook as easily as a horse trained for normal equestrian events no matter how well they are trained for their specialized events or usage.

Posted by: Ken at November 5, 2010 3:27 AM

Ken,I owned an old house that sprang a leak in the roof over my living room. When it rained,I got a puddle in the the middle of the living room floor. We had to go through the expense and inconvenience of getting "permission" to replace a few shingles on our roof.
That's complete nonsense.

What about the rest of it all,Ken? I understand the safety reasoning,yet we have gone far beyond common sense standards in so many ways.

By the logic you presented in an earlier post,there shouldn't be mounted police patrols,because the horses can endanger people.

Ken,start thinking freedom,please. You seem like a very thoughtful,responsible person. Just please don't go off the deep end in this area. We are too controlled now.

Posted by: helen at November 5, 2010 3:40 AM

Ken, I cannot deny that there are health and safety issues. And, I would appreciate it if you would not deny that a copy of the permit goes to the tax assessor.

Many tiny jobs are "permitd" in order to collect the fee and enabvle the tax assessor to keep an eye on "improvements".

Massachusetts now requires that replacement window installers be "licensed". My local inspector informs me that the purpose is to have a way to find the perpetrators of many window scams. Admirable I suppose, but it also creates a monoply for the "licensed" people. And, suppose you want to throw in a few windows by yourself?

It has been noted that contractors can simply "register" in Rhode Island. They then solicit work in Mass using business cards that read "Licensed in Rhode Island".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 5, 2010 11:27 AM


I said mounted police horses are trained not to react to loud unexpected noises, crowds of people gathering around them and moving vehicles. I don’t feel they are a danger however I said if you introduce a normal trained recreational riding horse into that environment you’ll have a problem on your hands.

My departed wife’s cousin is a horse trainer in CT and he also indicates it was a dumb move on the parents and the kid to bring the horse to school(his sister owns a horse farm in Australia that breeds race horses and my godchild rides in major equestrian events). I’ve been around horses for a while.

As far as your roof is concerned, the old building code had a percentage formula of replacement in it that once you exceeded the sq area you needed to take out a permit. Problem in New England is roof load per sq ft during the winter time and how many layers of roofing shingles the roof could take at one time.

Here again, there is a new national building code in place. I am talking about what I was accustom to back in late 1970s 40 years ago.

Warrington Faust,

In the city I worked yes a copy went to the tax assessor office for assessment tracking. Then in RI tax reevaluation equalization became law so federal and state funds could be allocated evenly (like that is really happening).

As far as the license and permits required for replacement windows that is a new one to me! When I had my windows replaced on my house no permit was required by the city inspector.

Like I indicated to helen, There is a new national building code in place which I have not worked with as I left building inspection trade over 40 years ago and moved on to bigger and better things leading to my current full retirement basking in the sun and on the beach every day.

Posted by: Ken at November 5, 2010 7:25 PM

Who's responsible for cleaning up the horsesh*t?
No one has brought that up.
It's not as nasty as dog poop,but it still doesn't improve the ambience of the school grounds.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 7, 2010 9:28 AM
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