- Queensland school has allowed a father to carry a religious sword on its grounds
- Man was allowed to wear a kirpan, which must be worn by males of Sikh religion
- Other parents complained that the blunt knife caused fear among their children
A Queensland school has allowed a father to carry a religious sword on its grounds despite complaints from other parents that it causes fear among their children.
The man was allowed to wear a kirpan – one of five articles of faith that must be worn by males of the Sikh religion.
While Sikhs are permitted to carry kirpans in public places, the blunt knife is illegal on school grounds by Queensland law.
But the Education Department said it would allow the item to be worn by parents and students on a ‘case-by-case basis’, the Courier Mail reported.
A Queensland school has allowed a father to carry a religious sword on its grounds despite complaints from other parents that it causes fear among their children (stock image)
The school’s principal reportedly asked police about the legality of the kirpan last year and was told it was not illegal.
When he allowed the Sikh parent to continue wearing the kirpan, while suggesting he made attempts to better conceal it, an outraged parent wrote to Education Minister Kate Jones.
It is unclear how Ms Jones responded, but she was advised that reporting kirpans to police may upset the Sikh community, according to the paper.
A spokesperson for acting Education Minister, Grace Grace, backed the school’s handling of the situation.
While Sikhs are permitted to carry kirpans in public places, the blunt knife is illegal on school grounds by Queensland law (stock)
ARTICLES OF FAITH IN THE SIKH RELIGION
Sikhs must carry five articles of faith with them at all times as a reminder of their beliefs:
Kesh Hair must never be cut, and it is kept wrapped in a turban.
Kanga A comb is used to brush the hair twice a day and to help keep the turban neat.
Kara The bracelet is worn on the right wrist and symbolizes restraint from evil deeds.
Kirpan The small dagger is a symbol of courage and must never be used to attack, although it can be used for protection if other methods of defense have failed.
Kachehra The undershorts remind Sikhs of their devotion to a faithful life.
‘The department is aware of a nonviolent incident involving a kirpan at a school more than 18 months ago,’ she said.
‘The incident was appropriately managed by the principal at the time.’
According to the Sikh religion, the Kirpan symbolises courage and self-sacrifice and must never be used to attack anyone.
It is an important religious symbol that represents the bearer’s obligations to protect the weak and promote justice.
When the principle allowed the Sikh parent to continue wearing the kirpan an outraged parent wrote to Education Minister Kate Jones (pictured)