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UNCC apologizes after person handcuffed on campus after article of faith was mistaken for knife

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File photo: David Davies on Flickr via Creative Commons
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Officials determined it was a kirpan, an article of faith in Sikhism which does resemble a knife.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has apologized after a person who follows the Sikh religion was handcuffed last week for having what investigators said was a knife in the student union.

According to university officials, campus police approached the person and initially put them in handcuffs, which were removed when they took the object from the person.

Officials determined it was a kirpan, an article of faith in Sikhism which does resemble a knife.

UNC Charlotte officials said state law and university policy prohibit the possession of a knife or any edged instruments on campus.

In the message sent to students, signed by Chancellor Sharon Gaber and Chief Diversity Officer Brandon Wolfe, said they would work to identify reasonable measures that both protect the safety of the campus and the religious practices of students.

The chancellor of UNCC added there will be steps taken to ensure this situation does not happen again.

Read the full email here: https://view.mc.uncc.edu/?qs=c912edaffe9e26e33945507473ff9d1e8cb7b33a928e2fd42f70a74888c1202a4d4b14472594d8437ed0b17db81dee03e2a9eed83d78508e6a4ca633b1c4faa20f6c3463c8f9530199f48ae2cb92d11a043adf1a34f07b6a

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.