Item: Michigan's "zero tolerance" law mandates expulsion for public school students knowingly possessing any "dangerous weapon". Dangerous weapons include any "dagger, dirk, stiletto, [or] knife with a blade over 3 inches in length."
Item: Two years ago, a 9-year old fourth-grader in Fruitport Michigan was expelled for at least 90 days for carrying a "wedding cake knife" aboard a school bus.
Item: Last week, educators decided zero tolerance depended on the meaning of "zero":
A Detroit-area district says Sikh students are permitted to wear a small, religious dagger to school.
The decision by the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools reverses a ban put in place in December after a fourth-grader at a Canton Township elementary school was found with a dull, 3- to 5-inch kirpan.
source: FOX Detroit; other pictures here
According to Sikh community leaders, "After they are baptized, members of the faith, which originated in South Asia in the 15th century, are expected to carry [a kirpan] all the time."
Item: The Michigan decision is similar to a 2006 ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Conclusion: Call it a partial victory for the ACLU, which has argued Michigan's zero tolerance law was "disproportionately" applied to black students and thus "unfair." I dislike modern pettifogging school expulsions for harmless offenses. I like even less made-up multi-cultural exceptions to what should be equally-applied laws.
If you want to wear your dagger to school, move to Canada.
The "Canadazation" of Canada accelerates:
A dozen Muslim families who recently arrived in Canada have told Winnipeg’s Louis Riel School Division that they want their children excused from compulsory elementary school music and coed physical education programs for religious and cultural reasons.(via Jawa Report, Don Surber)
"This is one of our realities in Manitoba now, as a result of immigration," said superintendent Terry Borys. "We were faced with some families who were really adamant about this. Music was not part of the cultural reality." . . .
The families accept physical education, as long as the boys and girls have separate classes, but do not want their children exposed to singing or the playing musical instruments, Borys said.