“A total prohibition against wearing a kirpan to school undermines the value of this religious symbol and sends students the message that some religious practices do not merit the same protection as others.”
My religious practices include carrying a loaded, sawed-off shotgun (pretend I’m in jr high). By this argument, does my youthful shotgun-wielding not merit the same protection as, say, kirpan wearing? I think it does. The school and students’ parents may disagree.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good that they’re trying to be fair, and that he’s free to think what he wants. I’m also not a big fan of pretending that anything remotely dangerous should be banned and made illegal. As the article points out, even pencils can easily be lethal or at least dangerous when used in a certain way. I think the decision was a good one, because he’s not hurting anyone, and the knife isn’t all that dangerous. (I’m generally libertarian.)
However, defending this practice on the basis of ‘sending the right message about religious freedom’ leads to ridiculous conclusions like the one about my shotgun-wielding above.