A student has been suspended from school in America for coming to class dressed as a pirate.
But the disciplinary action has provoked controversy – because the student says that the ban violates his rights, as the pirate costume is part of his religion.
Bryan Killian says that he follows the Pastafarian religion, and that as a crucial part of his faith, he must wear 'full pirate regalia' as prescribed in the holy texts of Pastafarianism.
The school, however, say that his pirate garb was disruptive.
Pastafarians follow the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pictured), and believe that the world was created by the touch of his noodly appendage. Furthermore, they acknowledge pirates as being 'absolute divine beings', and stress that the worldwide decline in the number of pirates has directly led to global warming.
Pastafarianism gained wide attention when its key prophet, Bobby Henderson, wrote to the Kansas School Board during the height of the controversy over 'Intelligent Design' being taught in science classes. His letter, also published on his website, demanded equal time be given to the teachings of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as was given to ID and evolutionary theory.
Since then, the Flying Spaghetti Monster has gained countless followers worldwide, although there are those who remain spagnostic.
The school, in North Buncombe, North Carolina, remains adamant that their decision to suspend Killian for a day has nothing to do with his religion, and quite a lot to do with his repeated refusal to heed warnings against wearing pirate outfits.