March 2, 2006

Religion in Schools?

The Supreme Court has allowed knives to be carried around in Canadian schools. They have approved 8-0 that freedom of religion trumps the right to safety in schools. Not to sound too alarmist here, but why do we want people carrying knives in schools? Orthodox Sikhs believe they must carry the ceremonial daggers in schools. I’m not saying Sikhs are violent people, but shouldn’t schools be allowed to dictate what weapons their students are allowed to walk around the hallways with?

What’s stopping another student from stealing the dagger and using it on another student? Why can’t we ask students to leave their daggers in their lockers during the school day? We live in a tolerant but secular society. This whole topic stirs up another issue; the removal of all religion from schools.

The French approach to the issue seems drastic, removing ALL religious symbols from school, including: large crosses, kippas, headscarves, turbans, ceremonial daggers, and the whole kitten caboodle. All of it can go right back on at the end of the school day. It levels the playing field at public schools; everyone is on the same playing field. I mean, isn’t it hypocritical to ban one item and not all of them?

Today, the court made the right decision. Going the other way would have required Canada to impose a French-style religious symbols ban, something that runs against the fundamental nature of the Canadian multicultural spirit. However, if a teacher ever sees the dagger drawn, or even an inch of that blade, they won’t hesitate to confiscate it. Let’s face it, if I ever attacked anyone with a crucifix or threw a Bible at someone, it would be confiscated too!

11 Commentaires:

Blogger s.b. a dit...

"Any tool is a weapon if you hold it right" Ani DiFranco

Pens are weapons, scissors are weapons; compasses are weapons; exacto knives are weapons. There are lots of potential weapons in schools. Symbolic daggers, that I believe are very small, kept wrapped in cloth and are never taken out harm no one. It is fine for students to have these if it is a part of their religion and I thought this issue was put to rest some timem ago.

Religions are not deciding anything for public schools, children are however allowed to practice thier faiths in schools.

This includes restricted eating times for Ramadan, prayer rooms for students who need them, head coverings, symbolic items etc.

This doesn't harm anyone, it makes us all richer.

3/02/2006 7:02 p.m.  
Blogger catnip a dit...

It's not a "weapon". That's where your argument falls flat on its face.

3/02/2006 7:36 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Have you ever seen a kirpan?

It has a sharp edge and is usually 6 inches long, it is for all intents and purposes, a dagger

but I guess you missed the part where I agreed with the court's decision.

3/02/2006 7:39 p.m.  
Anonymous agnostic a dit...

Here's a question. If a Sikh student can wear a small dagger for religious pruposes, is there anything can prevent a non-Sikh student from wearing and identically shaped and sized dagger in the same manner just for the hell of it?

3/02/2006 8:06 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

good point agnostic,

the answer is absolutely nothing, it is up to the schools to make the rules.

I can't wait for the cults to start asking for rights, it will make life more "entertaining" for the justices

3/02/2006 8:09 p.m.  
Anonymous BLah a dit...


Of course not just anyone can bring the dagger to school - the exception the SCC made was on religious grounds.

However, I'm definitely not saying that it's just or right.

3/02/2006 9:03 p.m.  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

I'm afraid I'm going to have to side with the Supreme Court on this one. We can't let irrational fear infringe upon rights, be they civil or religious.

Whether a kirpan, a gun, a can of mase, or a baseball bat, we cannot prevent exposure to items that pose as weapons in schools no matter how many metal detectors or police are in the schools, the malls, or on the street.

If we are going to concern ourselves with violence in schools, we should focus on the most prevalent: psychological and emotional. Those scars don't heal either.

3/02/2006 10:09 p.m.  
Blogger David Wozney a dit...

Can Christians wear swords in sheaths?

Jesus said unto the apostles: "...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one". (Luke 22:36)

Jesus instructed Peter: "...Put up thy sword into the sheath...". (John 18:11)

Jesus said: "...thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". (Matthew 16:18)

3/02/2006 10:33 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...


Swords are cooler than daggers!

Never mind that Jesus was all for peace and loving thy neighbour.

3/03/2006 8:05 a.m.  
Blogger Vincent Riccio a dit...

Great post... I really enjoyed reading it! Keep up the good work!

3/03/2006 10:13 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

As teachers, we know the difference between a "weapon" and religious symbol. A kirpan is hardly a weapon. When schools seize a weapon, we have to know its intent. Sure, any object could theoretically become a "weapon", but would a devout Catholic use a Rosary to harm someone? Doubtful. Besides, here in Canada several provinces support Catholic school boards. Although Manitoba is not among them, it still offers grants to religious schools. Local boards allow Mennonite and Fundamentalist students time in the mornings for prayer. I've seen my female students performing sit-ups while wearing a Hijab.

Right decision.

David Imrie -

3/04/2006 2:38 p.m.  

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