Friday, March 11, 2016

The Period 4 Court Ruling

Chief Justice Austin Huang delivered the opinion of the court. 

In a 8 to 1 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. 

Those ruling in favor of the majority opinion were Chief Justice Austin Huang and Associate Justices Oliver Sheen, Jack Liu, Allison Chiang, Claire Malhotra, Charlene Wu, Bryson Smith, and Daniel Hernandez.

Those ruling in favor of the majority opinion were:

Chief Justice Austin Huang
Provision 4 of the Titanville School District should be declared constitutional because metal Kirpan is a weapon that is no different from a dagger. Unless the kirpan is in a sheath, it provides a risk for both the faculty and the student body. 

Associate Justice Bryson Smith
Provision 4 is constitutional because the end question is that we the public simply do not know whether if they will use it as a weapon. We cannot predict the future, so the safest course of action is to just keep Kirpans out of school. And if they bring Kirpans to school, not only will they have to opportunity to hurt someone, they can severely injure people

Associate Justice Jack Liu
Provision 4 of the Titanville School District should be declared constitutional because metal Kirpan is simply a weapon, and it is no different from a dagger, which could inflict body damage to other persons. Nevertheless, children’s self controls and consciousnesses are relatively low compared to adults’. There are certain chances that sikh students might use Kirpan as a tool to offend someone else. Since the Titanville School District had already allow student to bring nonmetal Kirpan, the religious freedoms of sikh students in the school district are not violated. 

Associate Justice Daniel Hernandez
Provision 4 of the Titanville School District should be declared constitutional because it is too risky and dangerous to bring metal Kirpans to public areas.  It could be used as a weapon and possibly injure others when it is not in its sheath.  Although it is used for a religious reason, it can be practiced at home or a place where others share the same tradition.  A kirpan is technically no different from a sword, dagger, scissor, or knife.  Therefore, if those potential weapons cannot be brought to public areas like schools, then kirpans should not be either.

Associate Justice Oliver Sheen
Provision 4 of the Titanville School District should be declared constitutional because allowing kirpans to be brought to school can pose a serious threat to other students and faculty.  Although the kirpan holds the intent of self-defense and was only designed for religious practices, it really is no different from a dagger that can be used to harm others.  In addition, placing the kirpan in a sheath is not a foolproof way of preventing the kirpan from being used as a weapon, so I believe that it is just best if the kirpan is kept at home.

Associate Justice Claire Malhotra
Provision 4 of the Titanville Unified School District should be declared constitutional because the safety of the all the students at the school is at stake. Being able to carry a kirpan at school is important to the Sikhs, but perhaps not as important as the overall safety of the students that attend classes in the school district.  The kirpan is a dagger, which can be used to injure others, and trusting a young person with such a dangerous object is not safe for all concerned, and so in order to keep the best interests of everybody in mind, metal-bladed kirpans should be left at home. Furthermore, the school has not banned all kirpans. Students are allowed to bring kirpans with cardstock blades, which still allow Sikh students to have their kirpans and not risk the safety of those around them.

Associate Justice Charlene Wu
I believe that Provision 4 of the Titanville Unified School District should be declared constitutional. The respondent’s arguments were very compelling. Also, the most important facet of this controversy is the safety of the students. The kirpan is in fact usable as a weapon and if they were allowed in school in the hands of immature minors then the safety of their peers would be at risk. The respondent gave examples of cases which allowed kirpans in school and that backfired resulting in injury to other students. So, by declaring Provision 4 constitutional the school is a safer place.

Associate Justice Allison Chiang
Provision 4 is rightfully declared constitutional for several reasons. One of which being to ensure the safety of children in public schools. The second and more important reason is to prevent religious or political controversy and friction which can lead to revolution or uprising.

Those ruling in favor of the minority opinion were:

Associate Justice Max Abughazaleh 
Provision 4 of the Titanville School district should be declared unconstitutional because according to the constitution the government cannot keep people from practicing their own religion.  Due to the fact that this was in a public school that clearly violates the Constitution.  


  1. I completely agree with not allowing the kirpan in schools. Although it involves religious beliefs, it is too dangerous. This was a great experience!

  2. It seems that most people's opinion turned to that "Provision 4 should be declared constitutional" for whatever reasons. Many believes that "kirpan is no different than dagger," saying that student's safety is not promised in front of a weapon. I agree with those who would declare provision 4 constitutional even regardless of how a kirpan and a weapon are alike. Based on the fact that it is very hard (nearly impossible) to satisfy everyone when we make a decision. Under these circumstances, we usually consider more toward the majority since we want to make as much people happy as possible. In this case, if the kirpans are allowed, the Sikhs would be happy because they are free to practice their religion while causing much more parents to question the school and worry about their children's safety. Therefore, to make the best decision, kirpans should be baned from school to provide every student's safety while the Sikhs may practice their religion at home, or some other places SAFE. Thx lol.

  3. I agree with the court's decision. A few weeks ago, I was a strong supporter of Provision 4 should not be declare constitutional. However, after listening to the debate between the petitioner and respondent, I have changed my opinion. The example of a child from Canada using kirpan to harm someone have completely changed my opinion. I will feel unsafe if people are bringing weapons to school. Therefore, I agree with the court.

  4. Even if there was a Sikh individual who used the kirpan as a weapon and went against his religion, I see no reason why it's a good enough reason to go against the free exercise clause in our first amendment and punish an entire group of students by not allowing them to practice their religion.