Two boys were suspended by a Michigan high school in Avondale for wearing Kippahs.

Outraged? About to phone the ACLU?

Muffti would be except but for the fact that offending kippah wearers Michael Stevens and Travis Jobe aren’t jewish. They aren’t trying to convert. One even put spikes in his kippah but took them out when he realized they were offending other students. In his words:

I was just decorating it because I thought I liked it, and I didn’t know I was being disrespectful at the time

Why on earth did these youngsters adopt the new headware?

My Jewish friend gave it to me and I was studying it a little bit, and I was getting interested in it…The principal strongly suggested that I don’t wear it because it may offend people because I’m not officially Jewish.

So says Stevens. Apparently his dad was called in to reveal his son’s religion to the assistant principle.

Go figure. Muffti supposes that if you can be suspended for wearing gang colours, why not for impersonating jews. Next thing you know Stevens and Jobe will be wearing payot and refusing pork.

Thanks to
for details.

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  • “My rights are violated and stuff, and I think it’s stupid,” Michael told Action News.

    Haha. I like that kid. But the thing I don’t understand is that if they needed their father’s to tell the principal what religion they are, why did people find them offensive?

  • Since they’re in H.S., they’re a smidge too young for me, but if they were my age, I’d object because it’s false advertising. Just like the non-Jewish guy with brown hair and brown eyes who goes to Brandeis, has a biblical name and knows birkat hamazon. If a girl were to look at the guy in the kippah and fall in love with him, it just ain’t fair: you think you know what you’re looking at (barukh hashem, a lantzman!), but you don’t (oy vey, a Gentile!).

  • What they did was stupid and insensitive but was it worth throwing them out of school for it?

  • WTF?!? If the kids want to wear kippot, let them wear kippot? We don’t complain when people use Yiddish or laugh at Woody Allen’s jokes, so what is the big deal about them co-opting some of our “religious” attire? Kippot are not sacred, or even that special, certainly not in comparison to tzittzit. I mean, if wearing a baseball hat serves the same function as a yarmulke (say it now, yar-MOO-leek) who cares if some kid, who thought it was cool, is wearing one. Personally, I like wearing mine out, even if it is a little scary, least I give Yids a bad impression by leaving my fly down or some similar fau paux (look American cultre co-opting the French language). Alright, so many putting spikes might have been a little ignorant of past lies (eg, we have horns), but so what? I dream of the day when the fashion designers have awkward, skinny men walking down a catwalk with the latest in leather kippot with satin embroidery for all the Honorary Heebs in Hollywood.

  • Yes, I agree with Solomyr. If goyish women can wear skirts (and according to the NYTimes last week, full long skirts are TOTALLY in) then men should be allowed to wear yarmulkes. And if they want to accessorize them, hip them up, I know a Jewish place nearby where they can find all different kinds! Or they can just…do it on their own. And I like the spikes. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a goth looking kippa around.

  • MY Kippah has tenage mutant ninja turtles on it… oooopss that was 1988

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are cool. It doesn’t matter what year it is. TMNT is a classic. For Real.

  • curious, but if the kid really, honestly didn’t know that spikes on a kippah may be a little bit of an issue. Well, I’m happy that one is dying down. My husband actually has been asked if the reason Jews wear kippahs is to hide the horns. In general though? Who the hell cares. They weren’t telling the administration they had to have Monday off for a religious holiday, were they? (that I’d take issue with)

  • Hey Solomyr, that would be “faux pas”. And I’d be pretty amazed at the state of acceptance of the world if a strong and recognizable jewish symbol such as a kippah because a fashion item. Go kippahs!

  • What’s the big deal? Non-Jews put them on all the time at Jewish functions … why would this really be all that different? I think its great that weren’t afraid of being labelled Jewish..

  • Thanks patty-cake. Spelling was never my strong point. I check it on Google, and they didn’t have any other suggestions. Oh well. The wonderful thing about spelling that particular word incorrectly, is that you perform the action you are trying to spell 🙂

  • Hmm… Michigan has a sizable Arab community. Maybe the school administration was worried about offending Arabs and not Jews.

  • Muffti is with TM on this. Let the children wear what they like.

  • Interesting point about the Arab community… but then again if they get offended that’s their problem. And if the administrators are worried about the safety of students wearing kippot then they have a much bigger problem on their hands than just dress codes.

    Personally I’d love to see what a spiked kippa looks like, especially on the heads of 2 non-jewish hs kids. Stupid to expel them for having fun if there’s nothing anti-Semitic about it…

  • What those kids did is marais ayin. I don’t know that commiting an immoral act resulting in no physical injury to persons or property is a grievous enough offense to justify expulsion from a public school (we can’t really insist upon separation of church and state and at the same time expect public schools to instruct their students in anything beyond ethical behavior), but as a Jew, I feel pretty comfortable calling these two poseurs.

  • Honestly, I am disgusted by some of the response this issue has received. I myself am Jewish and I do happen to wear a kippah all the time everyday. I am not highly religious but it was a personal decision and I am only 16 years old. If I were to see a fellow student wearing kippot I would have no problem with it as long as they know the reason behind wearing a kippot and why the Jewish people do. If they were to alter the head covering in any way I would personally find this offensive and I believe if they refused to remove the yarmulke after knowing of the offense they have committed then I believe supension would be necessary.