St. Louis Scottish Community Rallies Behind Local Student; Decries District Actions

St. Louis, MO, April 02, 2012 --( The St. Louis Scottish community and supporters have rallied behind a local student at Granite City High School who was denied the right to celebrate his cultural heritage by wearing his family kilt to prom.

“The Granite City School Board decision was very disappointing,” Dr. Jim McLaren, Chairman of the St. Louis Scottish Games and a GlobalScot, said. “I had written to the school board, but had received no response. I think their ignorance of both cultural heritage and the American way is staggering.”

And that sentiment was not unusual. An article on the blog of Mark Sutherland, ( a volunteer with the Scottish Games and a Scottish immigrant, resulted in more than 15,000 visits, numerous e-mails to the school district, and coverage of the issue in the US and the UK. Many other Facebook and social media postings by others resulted in additional coverage, and a show of solidarity at the school board meeting on March 27.

“We would encourage every school board to be more open to culture and international tradition that predates the invention of pants,” Sutherland said. “I personally look forward to celebrating Scotland in the St. Louis and Chicago areas during the upcoming Tartan Day and Scotland Week celebrations ( in April and the St. Louis Scottish Games ( in September, and hope many others take the time, wherever they are, to do the same.”

The student has already been invited to St. Louis area Tartan Day celebrations and today the St. Louis Scottish Games extended an invitation to him to attend the 2012 Games in Forest Park as their honored guest.

“The Scottish community has been investing for years in encouraging young people to remember and respect their heritage and culture,” Dr. McLaren said. “Many of us volunteer with schools and youth organizations to provide educational opportunities regarding Scotland and the deep connections between Scotland and the US.”

Schools and organizations interested in these opportunities should connect with any of the following organizations online.

The St. Louis Scottish Games -
The Scottish St. Andrews Society of Greater St. Louis -
The Seven Rivers Highland Society -
Scottish Partnership for Arts & Education -
Missouri Tartan Day -
Scots for Tots -
Scottish American Military Society -

For interviews, or additional information, contact Mark Sutherland at 314.913.0674 or

The St. Louis Scottish Games is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 2000 and incorporated in the State of Missouri. The purposes of SLSG are educational, cultural, charitable, and philanthropic. The organizational objectives are to foster and encourage open exchange of cultural, educational, and recreational concepts and pursuits between those with an interest in the culture and heritage of Scotland and others in the Greater St. Louis area.

The 2012 St. Louis Scottish Games are September 28-29 in Forest Park.

Connect with the St. Louis Scottish Games on their website at or on Facebook at
St. Louis Scottish Games
Mark Sutherland