"It overruled a 2004 Quebec appeals court decision barring the kirpan, which the high court said was a blow to freedom of religion."Court allows Sikh knife in school
Canada's Supreme Court gave the green light today for the kirpan, a small knife that has religious significance to Sikhs, to be carried in public schools.
It overruled a 2004 Quebec appeals court decision barring the kirpan, which the high court said was a blow to freedom of religion.
The case began in 2001 when 12-year-old Gurbaj Multani allowed the kirpan knife to be seen outside his school in Montreal. School rules forbid students from carrying weapons.
"The council of commissioners' decision prohibiting G from wearing his kirpan to school infringes his freedom of religion," terms of the ruling said.
And "the interference with G's freedom of religion is neither trivial nor insignificant, as it has deprived him of his right to attend a public school".
"Lastly, the argument that the wearing of kirpans should be prohibited because the kirpan is a symbol of violence and because it sends the message that using force is necessary to assert rights and resolve conflict is not only contradicted by the evidence regarding the symbolic nature of the kirpan, but is also disrespectful to believers in the Sikh religion and does not take into account Canadian values based on multiculturalism," it said.
"Religious tolerance is a very important value of Canadian society," the ruling said.
"If some students consider it unfair that G may wear his kirpan to school while they are not allowed to have knives in their possession, it is incumbent on the schools to discharge their obligation to instil in their students this value that is at the very foundation of our democracy," it said.
"A total prohibition against wearing a kirpan to school undermines the value of this religious symbol and sends students the message that some religious practices do not merit the same protection as others."
I thought religion had no place in public schools????