Friday, March 18, 2016

The Period 1 Court Ruling

Chief Justice Trevor Johnson delivered the opinion of the court.

In a 6 to 3 ruling, the court hereby declares Provision 4 of the Titanville Unified School District’s kirpan policy constitutional on the grounds that it does not violate the first amendment’s free exercise clause. 

Provision 4 states that "the blade of the kirpan must be made of a substance other than metal, hardwood, glass, or plastic."

Those ruling in favor of the majority opinion were: 

Chief Justice Trevor Johnson
I believe that Provision 4 should be declared constitutional for the arguments the attorney for the respondent presented characterizing the kirpan as a danger to school students. This includes, the fact the kerpan is classified as a weapon, and that it can cause great physical and emotional harm. Students and parents may feel there is a threat if another student is carrying a knife or blade.  Also there is a firm belief that if a sikh student wears a kirpan to school, then other non-sikh students will feel that they may also bring a knife or other such weapon to school. This may be for thoughts of protection or they may believe that if another student brings a weapon to school, why can’t they bring a weapon if the student next to them has one. 

Associate Justice Augustino Maese
This case is a very controversial one that could go either way, but I believe Provision 4 should be declared constitutional. The kirpan is considered a blade, and if in the wrong hands, could be very dangerous around children. Even if no harm is done, the threat and emotional damage the kirpan may cause, could be far worse than any physical damage. A school is considered a safe haven for some, weapons like the kirpan would disrupt this environment and cause school to be a dangerous place.

Associate Justice Delaney Scannell
I strongly believe Provision 4 should be declared constitutional. If there is any chance of causing harm to any students at a school then a change needs to be made. Although this blade is in a sheath, it still has the potential to hurt someone. These items are not allowed on planes therefore, should absolutely not be allowed in schools. This student could be causing students and parents emotional harm. Parents should not feel comfortable sending their kids to a school where someone can have a blade at their side. I strongly believe Provision 4 should be declared constitutional for the safety of our schools. 

Associate Justice Sydney Andersen
This case was very difficult for me to choose a side on, I was constantly going back and forth. However after hearing arguments on both sides, I strongly believe that Provision 4 should be declared constitutional because the kirpan can still be viewed as a weapon to other students at the school. The kirpan is classified as a weapon, therefore it should be viewed as such -- especially in a school situation. If other children are not allowed to bring weapons to school for fear that they will harm others upon losing their temper, then the kirpan should not be an exception. Non-Sikh parents and other faculty at the school might become afraid that the child could lose his temper and take out the kirpan when he becomes angry and decides to use it against them. Since it is easier for children to lose their temper and more difficult for them to control it, this is plausible. 

Associate Justice Tian Zhou
I strongly believe that provision four of Titanville USD should be de declared constitutional. Despite being a symbol of religion the kirpan is also a blade. Being a blade it will inevitably pose danger to other people. Because it is in a school it would pose both physical and psychological danger to other people. The school is using provision four to help the sikh, I believe this would be the best solution.

Associate Justice Audrey Wilson
Originally I believed that  Provision 4 should have been declared unconstitutional. After listening the points from both sides I changed my opinion, and now believe that Provision 4 should be declared constitutional. I believe that the Kirpan could cause harm, it is a blade. Although it may not ever cause anyone harm it may bring other kids to think why they aren’t allowed to bring one to school. It may also cause emotional harm than physical harm. I also think that if they can not bring their Kirpan on a plane, children should not be allowed to carry it around school. Schools are meant to make kids feel safe, and I believe the Kirpan may make the school a dangerous place.

Those ruling in favor of the minority opinion were:

Associate Justice Leila Hamawi
I believe that Provision 4 should be declared unconstitutional because carrying around a kirpan is a way Sikhs express their religion. Also the first amendment declares the right for people to express their religion freely, and if we don’t allow John Doe to bring his kirpan to school then we would be going against the first amendment. Also there was no evidence that the kirpan hurt anybody which is why the kirpan is not dangerous. If John Doe, was threatening his peers with the kirpan then that would be an issue but because in this case he was not, I don’t see a problem with it. If we ban him from bringing his kirpan to school then might as well ban students from bringing pencils, staplers and protractors to school as well because they also have the potential to cause harm. Kirpans may cause harm and if they do then we would just punish the child not the whole religion itself, but in this case no harm was done. So I strongly believe that the followers of the Sikh religion should be allowed to carry their kirpans. 

Associate Justice Anzhi Wang
I strongly believe that the provision 4 of the Titanville Unified School should be declared unconstitutional. Carrying a kirpan is a religion of Sikhs, and the first amendment expresses that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise. A kirpan is no different than a pen, pencil, or staple, therefore if a student has the potential to hurt someone, any stationary can used as weapons.  

Associate Justice Jacob Ohlemeyer
I personally believe that  the ruling made by my fellow colleagues is incorrect. Kirpans are an article of the Sikh faith and should not be treated as a weapon. Titanville Unified School District’s conduct is not only unconstitutional, but as well immoral. At first glance, kirpans may appear to be just a blade, an instrument to cause harm, but the fact of the matter is that the kirpan is no such thing. They serve strictly as an article of faith, not a weapon to be used for intentional violence.


  1. Regarding the court case of Doe vs Titanville Unified School District, I agree with the court ruling that Provision 4 is constitutional that kirpans are threats to schools. Even though the kirpan is a symbol of faith, according to the Sikh religion, I still believe that it is good not to carry the kirpan in any public place, especially schools and amusement parks. People will feel it is a threat if another student is carrying such type of blade, although he is using it under the religious practices of the Sikh religion. The situation will become a real threat if the kirpan falls into the wrong hands.

  2. Kiwibird97: It looks like your are not using your school email address. Therefore I don't know who wrote this. Therefore no extra credit.

    1. Sorry, I forgot to put the real name.

      KiwiBird97 = Kelvin Dean