Saturday, February 05, 2011

MI School OKs Sword Worn by Sikhs

While schools regularly bar students from displaying Christian symbols, Bible verses, and rosary beads, a Detroit-area public school has approved students of the Sikh religion to wear their religious dagger with a maximum five-inch blade.

-- From "Michigan school district allows ceremonial dagger" by The Associated Press 2/1/11

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.

The principal initially let the boy keep the kirpan, but the school board instituted a ban because of parental concerns and conflicts with the district's rules against bringing weapons to school.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Sikh Faith Members Want Religious Swords in Canton Schools" by Robin Schwartz 1/7/11

At first glance, they may look scary and dangerous, but members of the Sikh faith who carry religious swords called Kirpan say they are not weapons at all.

"It's a religious symbol. It just reminds you for your spirituality. It's a fight against your internal evils," said Sikh community leader Tejkiran Singh.

After they are baptized, members of the faith, which originated in South Asia in the 15th century, are expected to carry the symbol all the time.

After inspecting the saber and determining it did not have any sharp edges, the principal initially gave it back to the boy. However, the Plymouth-Canton School District said they reviewed state and federal law and since the symbol resembles a weapon, they banned it in December.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.