Auburn School District in Washington State is facing intense criticism for a decision that some see as both dangerous and hypocritical. District officials have agreed to allow an elementary school boy of the Sikh faith to carry a dagger to school.

The parents of the boy, who attends Auburn’s Gildo Rey Elementary, informed district officials that their child would be carrying a Kirpan, small sword or dagger, to school daily. The school did not object.
While it is argued that the Kirpan is a tradition of the Sikh faith and considered to be an instrument of social justice, one school volunteer argued that if it couldn’t pass through TSA at the airport, then it has no place at school.

The volunteer, identified only as Shelby, said, “”They can’t take that thing into the airport. TSA would be all over it. Why is a school any different?” She added that she would not be returning to the school as long as the knife was there.

Auburn Assistant Superintendent of Schools Ryan Foster said that this is not unusual and, in fact, many student and faculty who are of the Sikh faith have carried their Kirpans on campus for years. He said, “The knife can’t come out. It can’t be shown around. It needs to be underneath their clothing. That allows them to express their religion without jeopardizing anyone’s feeling of safety. If there are any problems, we will take it to the family, but we don’t expect any.”

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