California parents sue school because they offer yoga
The 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.
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate