Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

School Bans Sikh Boy from Wearing His Religious Dagger

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

School Bans Sikh Boy from Wearing His Religious Dagger

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Ross Education Correspondent

A 14-yeAr-old Sikh boy has been withdrawn from state education after he was banned from wearing a traditional religious dagger to school. The family of J Singh, whose full name has not been released, have taken out a loan to educate him privately after the ruling by Compton School in Barnet.

The governors argued that the fiveinch "kirpan" was a safety risk although the boy had worn it for the previous two years without a problem.

The Sikh religion says all baptised males must carry a kirpan. They are legal if carried for religious reasons.

J Singh's older brother, ravjeet Singh, said: "The kirpan is not a knife. It is an article of faith. This is health and safety gone mad."

Mejindarpal Kaur, legal director of the community group United Sikhs, said: "The decision is a blow to religious freedom in Barnet schools whilst schools throughout the UK have accommodated Sikh students who wear a kirpan. …

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