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Teen in New Jersey Torches Fellow Student's Turban

Teen in New Jersey Torches Fellow Student's Turban

A high school senior was in court yesterday on charges of arson and criminal mischief after he was charged with setting fire to a fellow student's turban.

Authorities say Garrett Green set a 16-year-old junior's turban alight with a cigarette lighter during a fire drill last week. The Sikh student suffered patches of burnt hair but was not seriously hurt.

The culturally insensitive act came with some big consequences. In addition to legal proceedings, school officials are banning the high school senior from campus and won't be allowed to attend prom or graduation at the school just east of Trenton. The district will give the 18-year-old home schooling instead.

The turban-wearing student was a Sikh. Sikhism calls for long hair on men who commonly wear turbans. Is this just an isolated incident of schoolyard mischief or dangerous religious intolerance? Though Turkey has banned and then reallowed the wearing of headscarves in schools, should schools have a more neutral dress code? Are articles like turbans detrimental to a learning environment?


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freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I'm inclined to think that this is religious intolerance/hate more than just "kids being kids" and I'm dismayed/disgusted. When I was a freshman/junior in high school, my best friend was a traditional Sunni Muslim that had to wear a scarf. I myself am a Christian. I remember on more than one occasion, a bunch of older boys would follow us as we walked from class to class... harrassing her with racist, lewd remarks. She never did anything to provoke that sort of invective and handled it with so much grace. But what if I hadn't been there with her? Could it have gotten violent? Rather than punishing the victim, maybe they ought to consider stepping up efforts to put an end to bullying and to bring more cultural awareness to young people, who certainly might not get that sort of awareness from their parents.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
What a little ***hole. I'm in agreement with you MM. And sadly I'm sure his parents aren't giving him much punishment. Kids like this get their ideals and morals from their parents so they probably think this is no big deal.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
Horrible. Wearing a turban is nothing awful and the teen should be allowed to wear it; it is their culture and represents a part of their belief. The student that set it on fire definitely needs to be punished; there was no reason to do such a awful act of hate. We need to learn to accept others.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
and hes 18 too. hes not an ignorant child. hes just racist. and cruel. tsk tsk.
zeze zeze 9 years
What stupidity, I bet the attack was based on anti-Arab; anti-Muslim sentiment when in fact the kid was a Sikh! I absolutely, 100000% disagree with baning religious attire in schools, catering to the narrow minded isn't a solution - it breeds intolerance, it breeds hate for anything different, and I don't appreciate any more limitations on our fundamental constitutional rights. Besides all that people would start picking on others for something else, such as weight height, skin color etc... stuff you can't take off to make socially inferior people comfortable enough not to attack. The best punishment for this kid would be to put him in a country where there isn't religious tolerance and where he is the minority and let him see just how sacred and precious the freedoms we have are, maybe then he would think before disrespecting them.
Luckie82 Luckie82 9 years
People are so cruel. What satisfaction can you honestly get out of harming others?
Anabellatc Anabellatc 9 years
Makes me sick! He definitely deserves the punishment, but at the same time, they should explain to him why it was wrong...that way he can learn to tolerate others instead of resenting them even more in the near future!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
If little white kids in the south can learn to play with little black kids than little un-turbaned kids can learn to play with turbaned kids. We need to stop accommodating racial/ethnic bigotry and teach children why things like this are wrong.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Isn't it sort of like attempting to solve problems like sexual assault by imposing stricter codes of dress on the women who are the potential victims?
NYFashionista NYFashionista 9 years
"It's so ridiculous to think the answer to a problem like racial intolerance involves modified dress codes." I definitely agree.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Disgusting. And MM, I agree completely about teenagers :)
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
"Are articles like turbans detrimental to a learning environment?" No, I think asshole teenagers are detrimental to a learning environment though. It's so ridiculous to think the answer to a problem like racial intolerance involves modified dress codes.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
i don't this has anything to do with school dress codes. what is WRONG with that kid? he set something that was on someone's HEAD on fire? that kid deserves to be locked up in prison, not home school.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
WTF? This just makes me p*ssed! I'm on the asswhipping bandwagon!
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
If Sikhs can wear turbans, then Rednecks and Southerners can wear baseball hats. What's good for one must be good for all. OR, have a dress code that specifies length of hair and head coverings. There, that was easy.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
I like the old-fashioned asswhipping idea :-) I miss it especially when I see children running amuck in public places, ordering their mothers to 'shut up', while the parents plod about with a defeated look in their eyes. I can't imagine how this was deemed the better option than giving the kid a spanking...
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
Ah, a good ole fashioned asswhiping... My mom used to play "pick your own switch" with me... I got very, very good at just not getting caught. :)
RosaDilia RosaDilia 9 years
I thought the student was actually expelled? According from what the principal said in the news interview.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
He needs an a** whipping. I wonder what punishment his parents gave him.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 9 years
Not knowing any more background on this, maybe this is less a case of religious intollerance than a case of an 18 year old kid acting like a little shit. I must be getting old because I find I can't stand most teenagers. I think about half of them don't even have parents because I can't understand allowing your children to act the way they act.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
I don't think hate crime had very much to do with this, either. I'm sure we all know how having anything unique in school really brings out the kindness in children :OY:, and a turban is certainly different in a school environment. However, regardless of whether it was a turban or a pair of Crocs, the little pyro was punished fittingly (though he really needs to see a psycologist)
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
The stupidity that some people in the US possess is the reason why so many kids who are Sikh or Muslim are hesitant to take part in religious and cultural traditions; no one wants to stick out as a kid, especially when there are more than just kids picking on you.
syako syako 9 years
aw thanks monday!!! :hug:
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
Congrats on the outfit this morning, syako. :D I'm not sure it was a hate crime. When I was in school, one of the boys set a girl's hair on fire... it was supposed to be a joke, but she had so much product in her hair, it caught. He deserves the punishment, but there's no evidence that it was anything other than stupid-kid mischief.
em1282 em1282 9 years
Lame. So incredibly lame.
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