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Sikh Knives Allowed in Canadian Schools

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hrph. it's a double-edged sword  ;)   i mean, are kids going to end up staying clear of the kid with the 'weapon'? it's better concealed? uh. and i also think about how 'tradition' is not a static thing, it changes, and that there could be a compromise made whereby a ceremonial symbolic object worn could be changed to be less dangerous (weapon-like). but then, this is an orthodox thing. so that wouldn't be acceptable.

comparisons to other illegal activities or objects/practices are kind of crude. i had some but don't feel like posting. but.. if orthodox people wanna make a school, where they can make their own rules, then there isn't anything preventing them from doing so. i just don't get how carrying a concealed weapon in a public school is a right that warrants the conceivable danger and possible fear it creates.


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Just how big IS the thing, and when was the last time a Canadian Sikh student

went on a rampage?

When I was in elementary school, some kids carried knives. In middle school,

probably a third of the boys did. It was probably against the rules, but it didn't

matter really - I always had to borrow one of my father's knives anyway, so

no taking to school and losing for me!

In high school I was only allowed a rifle, and of course I had to clean it

every time I used it. Then again I don't recall minding that all that much.

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Knives for everyone!

Back in ancient times I bought my second pocket knife for 50 cents (2 weeks allowance, mind you) from the boy sitting next to me in 5th grade, or 10 years old.    I carried that knife and and a couple others till I graduated high school and never had a teacher reprimand me for carrying it or using it in class.    To this day I don't feel fully dressed or prepared unless I have a pocket knife.

Being allowed to own and carry a pocket knife was the first mark of responsibility and increased maturity for me, my friends and relatives around age 8 or 9.


p.s.  Did I mention that in high school it was common for the guys who had pickup trucks to keep 1, 2 or 3 rifles or shotguns in the easy rider rifle rack in the rear window? (substitute fishing rods if you didn't have guns).  They were allowed to bring them in to shop for refinishing and repairs.

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a couple of points (ahaha - sorry, couldn't resist).

the kirpan is to be used only in self-defense.

it is not concealed but worn in an exterior sheath.

it is truly ceremonial and is about as sharp as a butter knife.

and in the photo i saw of a boy with one on the news it looked to be about 10 cm long.

i understand the concern, but really i don't think it is that big a deal. it is not 'a knife' that sikh kids get to wear. it is one of the five corner stones of the sikh faith for men. misuse would be deeply shameful for the individual.


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I'd be more concerned about some idiot gangster kid ripping the knive out of the kids head dress. 

My concern would not be with the sikh kid using the knife, but it could be used against him by another kid.

I don't think it's wise to allow knives in schools. 

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that's a good point devilla, but again they are not sharp knives. they are ceremonial 'swords'. highly ceremonial. about the worst that would happen is if the kid gets bullied and someone takes the knife from him to keep. the knives are so dull that it would take a real effort and some skill to sharpen it.

this really is a huge issue for sikhs. the kirpan is unbelievably important to them. i was reading some related stuff a while back about a sikh having to surrender his kirpan when he boarded a via rail train. in an interview he said that many sikhs willnot eat while without their kirpan and will make atonement after getting it back for having let it out of their possesion in the first place.


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i had no idea that schools were so violent in toronto! wow. that's awful. now i understand your perspective. i don't think schools are so violent here. is there a large sikh population in toronto?

we have a huge sikh population here on the west coast and i guess i never really saw the issue as an issue. i guess that if a cultural group is of sufficient size then their cultural or religious traditions are not so 'odd'.

i find the sikhs to be a really interesting people. their rejection of the caste system for instance. i remember we used to call them 'pakis' for a while in elementary school. we were so clueless that we didn't recognise the irony of calling them that since theye were hindu not muslim. and not from pakistan of course. there was a huge number of racist jokes making the rounds. many about 'polaks' (polish people) too. about how dumb they were. it wasn't until my dad told me about how brave the polish pilots were in the second world war that i began to appreciate how stupid the jokes were.

but again i wander off topic.


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your brother had a GUN pulled on him at school?!!! holy shit. what kind of war zone exists over there? geez. i had no idea. maybe it is that bad here and i'm just clueless.

maybe in the scope of what weapons DO exist at schools a kirpan isn't really that much?


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Somehow the guns get snuck past security.  I am too old to have experienced it but I have friends in their early 20's who experienced guns at their heads in highschools by gang members. 

Apparently many kids are scared to death of some of the kids at school, depending on the neighborhood.  many parents send their kids to private school out of safety concerns.

And yes, Toronto is very multicultural, so we have every nationality here and often the problems in schools are racial.


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Sikhs are required to wear "the 5 K's", however there is a recognition of multiple paths to enlightenment wherein slow adopters may wear one or more items and add them as they become comfortable:

The 5 K's

Kesh (uncut hair)

Kanga (small comb),

Kara (circular bracelet)

Kirpan (ceremonial dagger) 

Kacha (long underwear, or breeches).


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Of course, if the same schoolboard declared crosses/stars/pentagrams/etc banned so the kirpans could be banned you'd better believe the anti-'sword' crowd would do an about face pretty damned fast.

At least where their own religious symbol was concerned.

Like Air_Marshall, everyone at my highschool carried pocketknives (Keep in mind most of our pocket knives were over six inches long opened and razor sharp).

We had 2 stabbings that I can remember, one was a steak knife brought to school for that purpose, the other a boy stabbed another boy in the throat with a pencil.

Better ban pencils and pens too. Crayons for everyone! =P

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Yah it shocked me moving to Southern Ontario the amount of violence in schools.

Until I figured out that it's all a matter of degree.

In Northern By God! Ontario, the numbers are small.

Here, they're larger.

And if I had kids, as a mom, I would make sure my kid wasn't carrying anything *sharp* to school.  Like?  A compass for math?  Those are pretty sharp.  Or an eyeglasses repair kit?  Pretty sharp.

Sharp.  B/c someone might take/use it.

Who cares if you express your religion, good for you, but.  If it's sharp.

Ugh.  Ridiculous that high school -- the world -- is at this place.

At least if it's a kirpan, it'svisible and you *know* if some kid took it.

Just IMHO, whatever.


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