Thursday, March 31, 2016

News Story Describing Facts of Case

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Ten Year Old Suspended
From School For Carrying a Weapon

By Joe Titan
A fifth grade student was suspended from school for three days on Friday after bringing a metal bladed kirpan to Karver Elementary School earlier in the month, says the boy’s father.

A kirpan is a ceremonial sword or dagger carried by Sikhs with most kirpans best described as a curved, steel blade.
Kirpans are usually worn in a sheath held to the body by a leather strap.
Karver Elementary is a school within the Titanville Unified School District and the district has a policy prohibiting metal bladed kirpans from coming onto any campus within the district.
According to the suspended boy’s father, the kirpan that the boy was wearing was roughly the size of an open Swiss Army knife, with a blade approximately 3 ½ inches long.
The school principal discovered the kirpan while the boy was playing basketball during recess.
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism, a monotheistic religion which originated during the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia and a central tenet of this religion requires Sikh’s to wear at all times the five symbols of their faith: “kes” (long hair), “kangha” (comb), “kachch” (sacred underwear), “kara” (steel bracelet), and a “kirpan”.
Mitchell Lee, spokesperson for the father of the suspended boy, responded to the school district’s action by saying; “This is ridiculous. The main reason the boy’s father brought his family to this country was to escape religious persecution. They never in a million years expected that here in the United States, the land of the free, they would be punished for merely exercising their religion.”
Though school officials declined to comment on this matter, interviews of various community members resulted in the sharing of the following opinions.
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Titanville High School 12th grader Katie Argyridou: “I agree that the boy should not have been suspended because of his religious beliefs. That seems harsh. And for a whole three days? That seems really harsh, but there should have been some kind of consequence because of the danger that bringing a knife to school posed to other students.”
Eric Lau, the father of a non-Sikh 10-year old at the school countered with “The school’s action was totally justified. The school is supposed to keep my child safe and I don’t feel that my son is safe at school when another child possesses a knife on the campus.”
Former UC Berkeley civics professor and Titanville resident Peter Lahey said, “I believe a three day suspension for bringing a knife onto campus is way too short of a penalty. I think the boy should have been suspended permanently. Only this way can we get the all-important message out . . . no knives on campus.” Local parent Chase Jenkins said he completely agreed with Professor Lahey’s statement.
Local Catholic Church priest, Father David Hengky said “The sacred practices of religion, though misunderstood, should not be punished in such a severe manner, especially when it comes to a ten year old child who knows nothing but what was instilled in him by his family. At the very least, the boy, and his family, should have been issued a warning.”

"A warning? You gotta be kidding me. That implies the suspended boy did something wrong, and he didn't. So no, no warning, no suspension, no nothing," said the spokesperson for the father of the suspended boy. It's the school district that needs to be warned or punished, not the boy! It's the school district that did wrong in this case!"

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The Titanvile Register - Your Hometown Newspaper Since 1947
August 11, 2015  5:40 PM

(This “fictional newspaper article” has been written for educational purposes only)

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