An attempt to inform parents of children at a southern suburbs primary school why Sikh students are allowed to carry a ceremonial dagger has led to a public backlash.
The school has allowed one student to carry a kirpan, a small ceremonial blade which baptised Sikhs are expected to wear close to their bodies day and night.
Outraged parents and community members posted more than 400 comments on a Facebook community page after the school said it would hold a P&C meeting to allow a representative of the Sikh community to talk to concerned parents.
Kirpans are one of five articles of faith that Sikhs must carry, including the kesh (uncut hair), kanga (comb), kara (bracelet) and kachehra (special undergarment).
A parent who spoke to The West Australian said she was concerned that children could get hurt if another student grabbed the knife.
“They’re not allowed to have peanut butter on a sandwich because that’s dangerous, but they’re letting a kid take a dagger to school,” she said.
Anup Singh, the priest for the Sikh Gurdwara in Bayswater, said it was essential for a baptised Sikh, man, woman or child, to wear their kirpan under their shirt.
The Education Department has been contacted for comment.