Kirpan Allowed in UK School, Stimulates Debate

May 20, 2005

Source: icBerkshire

On May 20, 2005 icBerkshire reported, "Parents claim their children's safety is at risk because a school is allowing a student to bring a 'knife' to school for religious reasons. The teenager at Burnham Grammar School can wear a ceremonial knife, known as a 'kirpan', if he swaps his current three-inch blade for one which is two inches or less. The unnamed pupil has also been told it must be kept sheathed and strapped discreetly under his shirt at all times. The controversy came to light last week after a fellow pupil told staff he had seen the kirpan poking out from beneath the boy's shirt during a game of football. The mother of a 15-year-old girl at the school, who did not wish to be named, said though Sikh pupils could be trusted, she feared the knives could fall into the wrong hands. She said other parents were 'staggered' by the decision, claiming health and safety had come second to 'political correctness'. "Weapons of any description should not be allowed in a school," the mother said."