NEW YORK, March 26 2005
A New York school district has revoked the suspension
on a Sikh teenager for carrying a kirpan and allowed
him to wear a smaller version of the sacred religious
Authorities in the Central 7 school district agreed
to lift the suspension on Amandeep Singh, a ninth-grade
honours student of Hartsdale, media reports here said.
Singh was suspended from Woodlands High School on
February 4 for eight days after he was found carrying
a kirpan, which school authorities believed was a
"We had to balance the student's First Amendment
Rights along with the safety of all of our students
in the district," school superintendent Josephine
Mofett was quoted as saying, while explaining that
weapons of all kinds are forbidden at school.
Soon after the suspension, Singh's brother Kamaldeep
Singh met school officials and demonstrated that several
other classroom items, including a steel ruler and
compass, were sharper than the kirpan, which was 3
inches long, the reports said.
The kirpan was "as sharp as a butter knife,"
Kamaldeep Singh said, adding that Amandeep had explained
the significance of the kirpan to his teachers and
never displayed it at school until the authorities
asked to see it.
After the suspension was widely published, the Becket
Fund for religious liberty in Washington sent their
lawyers for assisting Amandeep. "What we have
here is evidence of religious discrimination,"
Jared Leland, media and legal counsel for Becket,
was quoted as saying.
The school authorities were convinced and revoked
and suspension last week (PTI)