JURUPA VALLEY, Calif.—2 November 2012. A Southern California school district is allowing some Sikh students to carry an article of their faith—a dagger-like blade called a kirpan.
At least three high school students in the Jurupa Unified School District will be allowed to wear the approximately 2-inch knives at school after their parents agreed to solder them or sew them into the sheaths so they cannot be used as weapons, Superintendent Elliott Duchon said.
The kirpan is one of five sacred articles that baptized Sikhs must wear.
“This is an issue of religious freedom and of faith,” said Mary Burns, the district’s longest-serving school board member. “Who am I to deny what is an article of faith of a 600-year-old religion?”