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Students suspended for buying swords on class trip
St. Paul Pioneer Press ^ | April 24, 2008 | From The Deer Stand

Posted on 04/24/2008 6:37:47 AM PDT by From The Deer Stand

Two students attending suburban St. Paul, Minnesota high schools were expelled last week after purchasing souvenir swords during a spring break choir trip in the United Kingdom. The students had packed the swords in boxes and used duct tape to secure the box for the trip back home. A chaperone found the boxes after the students left the store. The students were disciplined on their return home. One of the students, a 16-year-old sophomore at Eagan High School, was kicked out of school for the remainder of the school year. He purchased a set of three samurai swords for $60. The other student, a senior, was expelled from the School for Environmental Studies in Apple Valley. He also was dismissed for the remainder of the school year. Both schools said the students violated the zero tolerance policy for weapons. Attorney Amy Goetz, a founder of the St. Paul-based School Law Center, noted that too many students who simply make a mistake and do not intend to do harm get punished. Twin Cities talk radio, in discussing the story on Thursday morning, questioned whether confiscating the swords and not returning them constituted theft.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: swords

1 posted on 04/24/2008 6:37:47 AM PDT by From The Deer Stand
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To: From The Deer Stand

I smell a HUGE LAWSUIT!.............and one which I’d actually agree with!................


2 posted on 04/24/2008 6:41:12 AM PDT by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: From The Deer Stand

Education for a nation of PC pansies.


3 posted on 04/24/2008 6:41:13 AM PDT by steelyourfaith
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To: From The Deer Stand

A $20 Sword is a weapon?

I can buy non edged Swords (real steel) in the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts even. These school administrators need to get a life.


4 posted on 04/24/2008 6:41:43 AM PDT by The_Repugnant_Conservative
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To: From The Deer Stand

Good grief, the way they are punishing kids these days I doubt I would even be eligible for parole yet if they had these rules back then.


5 posted on 04/24/2008 6:43:14 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: From The Deer Stand

We have a high school called “School for Environmental Studies” ???


6 posted on 04/24/2008 6:44:24 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: From The Deer Stand
He purchased a set of three samurai swords for $60.

That's it? What were they, plastic? Good grief. I'm looking at getting a bastard sword for $450 - battle ready and heavy.
7 posted on 04/24/2008 6:45:56 AM PDT by arderkrag (Libertarian Nutcase (Political Compass Coordinates: 9.00, -2.62 - www.politicalcompass.org))
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To: From The Deer Stand
Give them their swords back.

Apologize profusely.

Buy them each a Glock model 22 and an AR-15 for their inconvenience.

8 posted on 04/24/2008 6:51:45 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Secondhand Aztlan Smoke causes drug addiction obesity in global warming cancer immigrant terrorists.)
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To: arderkrag
If these swords are typical of what they sell in souvenir shops in Japan (and I suspect they are), they look really cool and make a nice display, usually a tsurugi (long sword), katana (short sword) and sometimes a dagger.

They have no edge and the steel is porous (non forged or hardended)-- meaning that if you actually tried to behead someone with it, the would-be victim would end up with a bruise on their neck and you'd end up with a broken display sword.

9 posted on 04/24/2008 6:54:27 AM PDT by Vigilanteman ((Are there any men left in Washington? Or are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud))
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To: Izzy Dunne; From The Deer Stand

“We have a high school called ‘School for Environmental Studies’ ???”

They probably thought he was going to cut down trees or butcher whales with them, thereby enraging mother Gaia and bringing down the curses of ozone depletion, global warming, and drowning polar bears. I would include a rain of frogs myself, but that’s just me.


10 posted on 04/24/2008 6:56:59 AM PDT by atomic conspiracy (Victory in Iraq: Worst defeat for activist media since Goebbels shot himself.)
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To: From The Deer Stand

I guess the issue is the publik skool is paying for the transport of said students on the choir trip. Therefore they would be paying for transport of “weapons” and therefore the transport of the “weapons” would “violate” the zero tolerance policy they have.

Methinks the proper way to handle this would have been for the kids to find a way to independently ship the swords back to the US and not involve the busybody school.

I do think the school system way overreacted and some people should lose their jobs over this. Another way could have been found to handle the problem, but nobody apparently cared enough to try.


11 posted on 04/24/2008 6:57:16 AM PDT by sauropod (Forgive me Gore, for I have emitted.)
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To: Vigilanteman

Ah. Never cared for non-functional weapons.


12 posted on 04/24/2008 6:58:38 AM PDT by arderkrag (Libertarian Nutcase (Political Compass Coordinates: 9.00, -2.62 - www.politicalcompass.org))
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To: The_Repugnant_Conservative
A $20 Sword is a weapon?

In 1990, I took my son to London. On the trip, he bought a replica Spanish pirate style pistol. Not only did it look 200 years old, but the opening was entirely sealed. You couldn't put a bullet in it if you tried.

We had it in our carry on luggage. Thankfully, they didn't confiscate it when they searched the luggage before boarding, but the stewardess took it and kept it with her the whole time.

btw - the stewardess also kept our Swiss Army knives (that we used for the fork and spoon) during the flight.

I guess if we did that now we'd both be in Guantanamo.

13 posted on 04/24/2008 7:00:44 AM PDT by radiohead (I stood up for Fred at the Iowa Caucus. Where were the rest of you so-called conservatives?)
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To: arderkrag

I have about 2 dozen swords. All live steel, all purchased in foreign countries. At least a couple of them were given to me as gifts.

I can’t even IMAGINE traveling someplace and not being able to purchase something like that and bring it home.

The school officials are dumbasses.


14 posted on 04/24/2008 7:02:06 AM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for latest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: Rick.Donaldson

Ah...so you are “hoarding” weapons and building an “arsonal”...

You are most likely also conservative...and might even believe in God...Big G...

Clearly a threat to the country...

*snicker*


15 posted on 04/24/2008 7:05:23 AM PDT by Crim (Dont frak with the Zeitgeist....)
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To: Rick.Donaldson
The school officials are dumbasses.

Oh, definitely. Nothing new about that, though.
16 posted on 04/24/2008 7:07:59 AM PDT by arderkrag (Libertarian Nutcase (Political Compass Coordinates: 9.00, -2.62 - www.politicalcompass.org))
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To: From The Deer Stand

I would be a bad chaperone because I would have asked to see them because I like stuff like that and then remind the boys to not pack in the carry on. When I worked in the school system I frequently bent the rules because I don’t believe in communism and sometimes kids need a break.


17 posted on 04/24/2008 7:12:38 AM PDT by Kimmers
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To: From The Deer Stand

This is silly.

I bought two souvenir swords in Spain about 15 years ago. I took them aboard the return flight as a carry-on, too. Everyone in our group bought swords and carried them on board. (It was a company-paid trip; we worked in the tourism industry. It was popular to buy swords in Spain.)

If the swords these boys bought in the UK were anything like the swords I bought in Spain, they’re not weapons. They’re just decorative and not sharp at all, though they are heavy.


18 posted on 04/24/2008 7:13:37 AM PDT by Tired of Taxes (Dad, I will always think of you.)
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To: From The Deer Stand

Bow to your academic overlords.


19 posted on 04/24/2008 7:15:30 AM PDT by Eurale
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To: From The Deer Stand
This is ridiculous. The students were not on US school property and can do what they please if it is legal.

The wussification of youth continues. Teach them that to even handle a "weapon" is evil. Teach them to bow to absurd authority.

And yes, for the realists among us, a $60 set of "samurai swords" is not actually a set of swords. I paid more than that for a wooden sword.

But the yoots must be taught absolute nonviolence. But don't actually hug each other, that is forbidden as well. Accept and obey.

20 posted on 04/24/2008 7:35:23 AM PDT by Sender ("Why is it that I can't just eat my waffle?" - Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: From The Deer Stand
This is silly... when I was 16 or 17, there was a small fair-like thing going on at the local elementary school, and one of the people there was selling knives and display swords and such. I bought my (then 15-year-old) brother a display sword for a birthday present, and bought myself a knife with a picture of baby polar bears on the handle. No problem at all... and not only was I buying 'weapons', I was buying them on school property! As much as public schools might not be so great, I really think our local district wasn't so bad...
21 posted on 04/24/2008 7:52:29 AM PDT by Hyzenthlay (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: Crim

Actually... I “collect” swords.

I buy guns.

I horde food and ammunition.

:)


22 posted on 04/24/2008 8:12:32 AM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for latest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: Red Badger
I smell a HUGE LAWSUIT!.............and one which I’d actually agree with!................

Not a chance.

I disagree with the policy and how it was enforced, but no court is going to say that a school can't ban weapons on a class trip.

While I realize that just about anything can be used as a weapon and these swords weren't being used as weapons, the courts aren't going to overrule the school's authority to call swords weapons and ban them.

It will never even get to a jury, but if it did, it's still unlikely that they school would lose.

While parents my trust their children, most of them are going to be worried about what some other kid might do to theirs with a sword. It doesn't matter if it is a rational fear or not.

23 posted on 04/24/2008 8:25:54 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: untrained skeptic

BUT THIS WAS NOT EVEN IN THE COUNTRY!............


24 posted on 04/24/2008 8:27:27 AM PDT by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: From The Deer Stand

Continued stupidity on the part of stupid leaders that are found acceptable by stupid citizens.


25 posted on 04/24/2008 8:44:02 AM PDT by GingisK
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To: Red Badger
BUT THIS WAS NOT EVEN IN THE COUNTRY!............

It was on a school trip. It wasn't on a trip these kids just took with their families. It was a choir trip on which the chaperones were responsible for looking after the kids.

26 posted on 04/24/2008 8:50:40 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: raven92876

ping


27 posted on 04/24/2008 8:50:47 AM PDT by windcliff
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To: untrained skeptic

The chaperons would be acting as “in loco parentis” but not as “in government parentis”..........


28 posted on 04/24/2008 8:54:50 AM PDT by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: Red Badger
It's still a school trip and school rules apply. I remember numerous occasions where kids got in trouble and got detention or suspended for breaking school rules on class trips way back when I was in school.

I doubt there are many, if any schools that don't enforce their rules on class trips and don't punish students that break them when they get back.

29 posted on 04/24/2008 9:09:30 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: From The Deer Stand

No 2nd admendment in tax payer funded schools. How dare they think that the Constitution extends to students under to control of our government. Put it on their permanant record.


30 posted on 04/24/2008 9:22:22 AM PDT by fella (Is he al-taquiya or is he murtadd? Only his iman knows for sure.)
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To: The_Repugnant_Conservative
"A $20 Sword is a weapon?"

Heh, not really. Something that cheap is a decoration. If you were to swing it too hard the blade would probably depart from the hilt.

31 posted on 04/24/2008 9:31:55 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: Rick.Donaldson
Actually... I “collect” swords. I buy guns. I horde food and ammunition.

Sounds like you are a "bitter" person........;^)

32 posted on 04/24/2008 10:13:57 AM PDT by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: Red Badger

I am...

lol


33 posted on 04/24/2008 10:42:48 AM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for latest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: Crim

At least he’s not clinging to a gun, because then he’d be bitter.


34 posted on 04/24/2008 11:28:31 AM PDT by Hoffer Rand (0'bambi: the audacity of hype)
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To: radiohead

the stewardess also kept our Swiss Army knives (that we used for the fork and spoon) during the flight.
***************************************************
I went on a cruise a few weeks back ,, not thinking about “weapons” like you would for an airline ,, they inspected my swiss army knife for a few minutes before giving it back to me ,, apparently small knives are OK for sea travel as long as they aren’t switchblades..


35 posted on 04/24/2008 2:56:53 PM PDT by Neidermeyer
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To: Xenalyte

I believe this is in your area of expertise and interest...


36 posted on 04/24/2008 3:14:22 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Grizzled Bear

If the boys got three swords for only $60, the things will break the first time they come out of the scabbard and meet the air.

A good battle-ready katana will run you upwards of $300.


37 posted on 04/24/2008 4:20:37 PM PDT by Xenalyte (Can you count, suckas? I say the future is ours . . . if you can count.)
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To: Xenalyte
If the boys got three swords for only $60, the things will break the first time they come out of the scabbard and meet the air.

A good battle-ready katana will run you upwards of $300.

True. But Miamoto Musashi(sp?) was 13 years old when he used a child's wooden sword to kill an armed and armored Samurai. Then he claimed the Samurai's goods as his own.

That might be their plan...

38 posted on 04/24/2008 4:32:29 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Grizzled Bear

However, they likely don’t have the aptitude or the training Musashi had.

Makes one wonder just how sharp that wooden sword was! I’ve gotten nasty splinters from one of my daitos. (I need to figure out which one before I put those back in practice.)


39 posted on 04/24/2008 4:53:41 PM PDT by Xenalyte (Can you count, suckas? I say the future is ours . . . if you can count.)
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To: Xenalyte
However, they likely don’t have the aptitude or the training Musashi had.

IIRC, Musashi was a 16th century warrior. At 13 he challenged a Samurai who stood and laughed. While the man laughed Musashi brought the wooden sword up sharply and shattered his jaw. The man collapsed to his knees and Musashi beat his head into a pulp.

Apparently Musashi was serious about his challenge.

There's a few other versions but that one is my favorite!

40 posted on 04/24/2008 5:02:17 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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