Damocles swordplay

Oh, Canada. Our northern neighbor's supreme court recently ruled that students may now carry swords to public schools-but only if those swords are called "kirpans" and the students are orthodox Sikhs. You see, orthodox Sikhs wear the curved blades as a religious obligation, and as the court said, "Religious tolerance is a very important value in Canadian society." (Another important value: not being sliced up by a kirpan.) The court further elaborated that letting children tote daggers on the playground posed no danger because schools could set strict rules, such as requiring that the knives remain sheathed at all times. But despite that completely reassuring and logical justification, and despite the country's cornucopian tolerance, a few Canadians weren't wholly convinced. According to The Guardian, some Montreal parents"fretted that it was not a good idea to have children carrying knives." Whoa, parents-take your religious hate elsewhere!

"At daggers drawn," by Ann McIllroy, The Guardian, March 6, 2006