Elementary Student Allowed to Bring Religious Knife to School
According to a report from the Associated Press, a Sikh boy is being allowed to bring a religious dagger known as a kirpan to school with him. The report explains that a kirpan is “considered to be an instrument of social justice in the Sikh faith.” Wikipedia defines kirpan as “a ceremonial sword or dagger carried by baptised Sikhs. It is a religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 in which all baptised Sikhs must wear five articles of faith at all times, the kirpan being one of five articles.” This allowance by the Auburn School District is in direct violation of their own zero-tolerance-for-weapons policy, yet the Gildo Rey Elementary school student will be allowed to carry this blade under his clothes on school property, in classes with other student, in the gym, on the playground, bus, etc.
Why a Knife, But Not a Prayer? Or Long Hair?
In recent months, we at Pfhub have shared stories about student facing punishments or controversy over such things as using lip balm, having long hair, sharing his lunch, and even flying the American flag. It has been some time since prayer was allowed in schools. Kids are being told not to bring their Bibles to school, and others have been suspended for all sorts of t-shits, including those which support the military, the NRA, the Christian religion, and veterans, or display the American flag.
Kids have been suspended and even expelled for making gun shapes out of poptarts and taking a bubble gun to school. Why would a school system allow any sort of weapon? Website tpnn.com explains it like this, “Auburn Assistant Superintendent of Schools Ryan Foster said that this is not unusual and, in fact, many student and faculty who are of the Sikh faith have carried their Kirpans on campus for years. He said, ‘The knife can’t come out. It can’t be shown around. It needs to be underneath their clothing. That allows them to express their religion without jeopardizing anyone’s feeling of safety. If there are any problems, we will take it to the family, but we don’t expect any.’”
What Do You Think?
While some are trying to make this an issue about religious freedom, that freedom has not allowed students to pray, read a Bible, or even talk about God freely for years. How can students be allowed to celebrate one faith and not another? How can we allow a weapon in school in the name of religious freedom and not allow others? Students all over the South, and likely in other regions, have been arrested for having a hunting rifle in their locked truck in the school parking lot, but an elementary school student is being trusted with the responsibility of carrying a knife to school. How can we defend this in the name of religion? Should his religious freedom be taken? Perhaps, and perhaps not, but if his isn’t, then no one’s should be.