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Religious Knives Will Be Banned In NSW Schools After A Student Was Stabbed

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Religious Knives Will Be Banned In NSW Schools After A Student Was Stabbed

The New South Wales government is updating regulations to ensure knives of all sorts are banned from schools.

It follows an incident two weeks ago where a 16-year-old student was allegedly stabbed by a 14-year-old pupil at Glenwood High in Sydney's northwest.

The knife involved was reportedly a Kirpan, which is a ceremonial dagger that baptised Sikhs are required to carry, even in their sleep.

The NSW Premier was shocked to learn students were permitted to bring in weapons to school even though it was for religious reasons.

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Gladys Berejiklian said 'students shouldn't be allowed to take knives to school under any circumstances'.

As a result, she's asked the Education Department to ensure students of all ages have the right to safety.

Credit: Skielor (Creative Commons)
Credit: Skielor (Creative Commons)

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell told 2GB Radio: "In the interim I've also asked the department to send advice out to our schools today updating our policy to say that knives for religious purposes will be banned in government schools.

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"We need to act and I think that's in line with community sentiment and it's also in line with my responsibilities as minister.

"I have to make sure that our schools are safe places for our students and staff and that's why we need to take this action."

She added that she'll be trying to ensure the loophole allowing for religious knives to be brought in will be closed.

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Ms Mitchell also explained that she has already spoken with representatives from the Sikh community and they are 'distressed' by the alleged stabbing a fortnight ago.

However, some Sikh community members are angry that a ceremonial part of their religion won't be permitted on school grounds.

President of Turbans 4 Australia, Amar Singh, has slammed what he's claimed has been a lack of consultation in the process.

"[They're] going to target this religious community based on one event. I mean, there's glassing and fights in pubs every day across Australia and we haven't closed all the pubs down," he said.

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"There was no consultation with community heads of what we need to do... there was a first meeting [with the education department] which was a 'we need to work together and so forth'.

"Then a second meeting, where we're told the minister would be there, they just announced the ban."

Featured Image Credit: Hari Singh (Flickr)

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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