IMAGE: Patrick Agin in mail with sword
In this 2006 photo released by Heidi Farrington, her son, Portsmouth High School senior Patrick Agin, 17, is shown in his Society for Creative Anachronism costume in Portsmouth, R.I. Portsmouth High rejected the photo for use in the school yearbook.
updated 1/20/2007 8:57:35 PM ET 2007-01-21T01:57:35

Rhode Island's education commissioner has ordered a high school to publish a yearbook photo showing a teenager with a sword.

The 17-year-old is a fan of the Middle Ages, so he wore chain mail and slung a prop sword over his shoulder for his senior portrait. Portsmouth High School officials rejected the picture, saying it violated their zero-tolerance policy on weapons.

The American Civil Liberties Union got involved. Its lawyers argued the school has allowed students to pose for more than a decade with props that show their interests, including musical instruments and horses.

A state education hearing officer added that past editions of the yearbook have had pictures of other items banned by school rules, including a corn-cob pipe, liquor bottles, a beer stein, toy guns, arrows and a knife.

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