USA Boy Brings Religious Dagger To Class

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Boy Brings Religious Dagger To Class

Parent Fears Dagger Could End Up In Wrong Hands updated 12/11/2010

They’re not allowed in airplanes, but one local student brought a religious dagger to class.

A student carried a Sikh ceremonial dagger known as a Kirpan to Bentley Elementary School in Canton (USA ).

His fellow fourth grade classmates noticed the dagger when they were roughhousing during recess. Officials said they quickly alerted a teacher and their parents.

The Kirpan-carrying boy’s family told the school’s principal that when someone is baptized into the Sikh religion, they’re ordered to wear the Kirpan at all times as a showing of faith, not as a weapon.

Tina Barbee is a mother of a student at Bentley Elementary. She told Local 4 she teaches her children to celebrate diversity, but she’s drawing the line at the Kirpan.

"My concern is the safety of my child," said Barbee. "What if someone takes this away from this child and decides to hurt someone?"

According to the Sikh religion, the Kirpan is symbolic, and its meaning is to prevent violence and defend the defenseless. To Barbee, it’s still a child with a knife in class.

"Who’s to say that all Sikh children are stable?"

The Plymouth Canton School District released a statement to Local 4. It reads "We are aware of the incident, and are looking into the situation. The district is of the understanding that the item is for religious purposes and not a weapon. We are consulting with our attorneys about how to best handle the situation."