NSW government has reversed the ban on bringing knives to schools on religious grounds.
Sikh students will be allowed to bring Kirpan in schools after the Department of Education has reversed its decision to ban all religious knives.
- NSW government has reversed the ban on Kirpan in schools.
- New guidelines will be implemented that have been decided after discussions with community groups.
- A 14-year-old is facing courts for allegedly stabbing another student with a Kirpan.
In May, the Department had decided to ban the knives after a 14-year-old high school student was charged for stabbing a 16-year-old with his Kirpan.
The case remains before the courts.
The NSW Gurdwara Working Group, made up of representatives from Sydney Sikh temples, had been in discussions with the government officials to lift the ban.
New guidelines have been put in place after these discussions. According to ABC, the new guidelines mean:
• The Kirpan being carried must be no bigger than 8.5 centimetres, with no sharp edges or points
• It must be worn under clothing
• It must be removed during sports
• Any safety concerns must be discussed with the student and their parents or carers
ABC reports Education Minister Sarah Mitchell decided to reverse the ban after creating new guidelines around their use.
“The safety of students is my highest priority, and our policy will always prohibit weapons at school,” Ms Mitchell was quoted as saying.
“We have worked closely with community representatives, including from the Australian Sikh Association and the NSW Gurdwara Group, as well as Multicultural NSW and other government agencies, to develop these new guidelines.”
The new guidelines come into effect in schools from October.