In québec, we've had a somewhat serious crisis over what place should be give to religions in various contexts. The reason for that is that in our constitution, it is written that it is forbidden to discriminate against someone for his religion and it includes everything up to reasonable accomodation. For instance, allowing an employee to work saturday instead of suday because he has to go to church falls under this.

Anywho, the crisis was triggered, among others, by this 12 year old Sikh boy from my neighbourhood who wanted to wear his kirpan in elementary school. The khirpan being a dagger, the school forbade it and it went all the way to the supreme court where the khirpan was finally allowed. It has to be sewn in and must be less than a certain length.

Now, still in the same neighbourhood, a 14 year old kid used his khirpan to threaten another kid...

It is a weapon! Why should a weapon be allowed in a school? Because it's a religious symbol.

Here is the most recent story (in french)

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Wow! I don't really know anything about the reason for the khirpan but that ruling just seems wrong. It's hard to imagine that one child's right to religious customs could ever trump the other children's right to go to a school free of weapons.
What do other schools with uniforms in Canada do to accommodate religious attire? This has been a constant debate here. The school uniforms can range from very strict to fairly lax in terms of jewelry, head coverings, symbols, etc.
Turbans, headscarves and the like are tolerated. For phys ed classes, girls are usually not allowed to skip classes but their parents usually make them wear full body suits.

Some muslims parents want their kids to be excluded from music classes too. These kids get an auto-F so far but that will probably change.
I think the ruling in California was reasonable. The kirpan is allowed, but must have the sharp point dulled and must not be removable from it's sheath. That way the child can still wear the kirpan but it is not usable as a weapon.
Je ne parle pas Francais. I hate all of this modern religious tolerance/ political correctness garbage. Moreover, I hate how religious belief is given the same treatment as race, gender, sexual preference, etc. It's not the same. All of those things are uncontrollable, but religious belief is ultimately a choice, not a basic attribute. Political correctness is a double-edged sword. People tiptoe around issues so as not to offend anyone, but the end result truly benefits no one. I think the school really dropped the ball on that one.


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