California parents sue school because they offer yoga

yogaThe National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP) is representing a family that is suing the Encinitas Union School District for “civil rights violations resulting from its inherently and pervasively religious Ashtanga yoga program.”  The attorney stated:

“If you research yoga and Hinduism, most people would say Hinduism is yoga and yoga is Hinduism.  It’s a situation where the state is endorsing religious beliefs and practices, which is forbidden under California and federal law.”

The family is NOT seeking money damages.  They just want the program to be suspended indefinitely.  All schools within the district offer the classes to approximately 5,500 students.  The yoga classes are not actually Ashtanga yoga because it is too demanding for students, but rather a modified version for the K-6 students.  In a news release, the NLCP called the yoga “inherently and pervasively religious, having its roots firmly planted in Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and western metaphysical religious beliefs and practices.”  The NCLP also cited a religious studies professor’s support of the claim.

The school asserts that about 30 families had actually expressed concern over the program before this lawsuit was filed.  A school representative said that they thought the issue was addressed because they gave the students the ability to opt out and do other activities.  Regardless of the lawsuit, the classes will still be offered in all schools within the district.

I don’t really see how doing yoga promotes Hinduism.  The children are basically just stretching.  If you have a problem with it then just opt out.  Don’t see the problem.

Do you?


Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate


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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

13 responses to “California parents sue school because they offer yoga”

  1. JF Owen says :

    This is another case of a vocal few with a misguided agenda infringing on the ability of the many to enjoy their lives. One family, which reportedly represents thirty others of similar thought, is interfering with the wishes of thousands of parents to have the health and well being of their children enhanced.

    Religion, whether it’s an atheist complaining about a nativity scene on a court lawn or a fundamentalist complaining about yoga doctrine corrupting our children causes the most divisive and invasive of arguments. Religion was added to the first amendment to protect our individual right to practice it and in response to the terrible persecution that early immigrants had experienced in Europe. Somehow in the last century that has morphed into a petty but powerful club that has allowed the few to control the lives of the many. Shame on “constitutional lawyers” and our courts for allowing that to happen and for perverting that beautifully pristine concept.

    This is a stupid lawsuit without merit. That virtually guarantees it will be successful.

  2. treadmarkz says :

    I don’t think these people understand the world “offer”. These classes have been “offered” not shoved down the children’s collective throats.

  3. reasoningpolitics says :

    I’m all about separating church and state, but how exactly is introductory yoga espousing Hinduism? Perhaps they’ll sue the school next because the calendar includes ‘Thursday’ which nudges the children closer to worshiping Thor.

    You know I’m an atheist, but I also get annoyed when other atheists get up in arms about this petty crap. Prayer in schools (from the staff that is) should not be allowed. Same as creationism.

    However, you simply cannot scrub all references to all religions from the public sphere. I don’t want prayer in schools, but that doesn’t mean I want teachers stopping kids from saying grace at lunch.

    As always, you are really good at finding stuff that just grinds my gears!

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      I didn’t know you were atheist. You’ve never mentioned it in your posts.

      Yeah again I don’t see what the big deal is. If you feel so strongly about it then have your kid opt out.

      You also have a knack for finding great topics.

      Thanks for the comment as always.

      • reasoningpolitics says :

        Yeah I don’t write about it much because arguments about religion tend to go nowhere, and usually become disrespectful. Go to any article in HuffPo religion to see what I mean. Everyone says the same things over and over… it gets boring.

        I think I might have one article from back in September that explains my lack of belief, but I like to focus on what I do believe in, instead of what I don’t.

      • realtalkrealdebate says :

        Oh I don’t see it as a negative or a problem. I just didn’t recall you mentioning it. You have the right to your own belief as I likewise have as well. The schools I went to always had a wide range of cultures, ethnicities and religious preferences. I only have a problem when people try forcing their religious beliefs on to others. That’s why I also don’t write too much about it.

      • realtalkrealdebate says :

        I probably read it but forgot because it truly doesn’t make a difference to me. Doesn’t change my opinion of you or your blog. Which I like 🙂

  4. ellisnelson says :

    Silly stuff. Fear driven, over reaction. But I had a woman who teaches yoga say on my blog that she’s had to deal with certain Bible based Christians who believe her class messes with their salvation. In which case, I think their faith must be pretty weak. Our ignorance of other religions fosters fear and we should do everything to educate ourselves. Personally I don’t think there’s enough taught about religions and honoring diversity.

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      I really don’t understand what the problem is. People do yoga as a means to exercise and destress. What exactly is the problem with that?

      I don’t know where it says on the Bible that yoga is satanic.

      Thanks for the comment!

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