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Loxford Primary School responds to kirpan ban claims

PUBLISHED: 17:53 27 April 2016 | UPDATED: 17:59 27 April 2016

Kirpan worn by Jaspreet Kaur, 21. Picture: Jaspreet Kaur

Kirpan worn by Jaspreet Kaur, 21. Picture: Jaspreet Kaur

Archant

A school has confirmed Sikhs are allowed to carry kirpans – religious swords – on premises as long as they are worn “discreetly”.

The comments come after newly baptised Sikh Jaspreet Kaur, 21, of South Park Drive, Ilford, claimed she was told by staff she was not allowed to wear one when going to collect her niece and nephew from Loxford Primary School, Loxford Lane, Ilford.

Headteacher Anita Johnson said: “Loxford School Trust respects the human rights of individuals to practise their religion in public or in private in accordance with the Human Rights Act.

“For child safeguarding reasons we request that visitors wear the kirpan discreetly so that it is not visible on school premises.”

Carrying a kirpan, one of the “five Ks” of the Sikh faith, is a requirement for those initiated into the Khalsa – the collective body of all initiated Sikhs.

Exemptions for Sikhs to carry kirpans are made under the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 and Criminal Justice Act 1988.

Mrs Johnson added: “So far as the individual was concerned we asked her to comply with our request. The individual has not been banned from the school premises.”


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