Woman apologises for racist Facebook post over religious knife taken into school by girl (6)

By Adele Forrest | 12/07/2019

Woman apologises for racist Facebook post over religious knife taken into school by girl (6)
Redscope Primary School

A WOMAN who posted racist comments on social media after a six-year-old girl was banned from bringing a ceremonial religious knife into her school has apologised.

The Facebook user was responding to the discovery the pupil had taken the Sikh kirpan, described as a religious ornament, into Redscope Primary in Kimberworth Park.

Police have refused to identify the Rotherham woman but said she had posted the race hate comment in the “heat of the moment”. 

The discovery of what the headteacher called a “small, blunt miniature sword” sparked an outcry on social media last month, and police investigated some of the comments made as possible hate crimes.

Sgt Alec Gibbons said the woman had been dealt with via restorative justice and had written a letter of apology to the school.

Officers also visited the girl’s family and passed on the woman’s apology. Police said the family was “happy with the outcome”.

Sgt Gibbons explained the “community resolution” was an informal out of court process.

He added: “During the incident at Redscope School, it became apparent that there was a lot of confusion within the community. This confusion led to a post which was recorded as a hate crime. 

“Upon speaking to the offender in this case, it was apparent this comment was posted in the heat of the moment, by an otherwise law-abiding member of the community. Therefore, community resolution was used. 

“One of the main reasons for this is that by encouraging offenders to face up to the impact of their behaviour and to take responsibility for making good any harm caused, a community resolution can reduce the likelihood of their reoffending.”

A kirpan is a sword or small dagger - typically up to 8cm long - carried by Sikhs as a symbol of their faith (pictured below).

A religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 demanded that Sikhs must wear five articles of faith at all times, one of which is the kirpan.

Redscope head Paula Dobbin spoke out to reassure parents who kept their children at home after the kirpan was spotted being carried by the Year 1 pupil.

In a letter sent to parents, she said: “The item is not sharp, and is often worn in schools by children of the Sikh faith nationwide.

“However, having spoken to the parents of the child concerned, they have agreed that the child will no longer wear this item in school. 

“The family are new to school and want to be part of the Redscope family. 

“They are keen their daughter is able to make friends and be part out of our school community.”

Ms Dobbin was unavailable for comment.


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