Parents want yoga removed from California schools

Parents want yoga removed from California schools

A civil lawsuit has been filed against a school district in California seeking to suspend a controversial yoga programme which parents feel “unlawfully” promotes religious beliefs.

Not seeking any monetary compensation, the lawsuit filed by National Center for Law and Policy, on behalf of aggrieved parents, urged the San Diego Superior Court to immediately suspend “Ashtanga Yoga” programme of the Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) and restore traditional physical education.

Writing in support of the lawsuit, Harvard educated religious studies Professor Candy Gunther Brown said that the Ashtanga yoga programme is inherently and pervasively religious, having its roots firmly planted in Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and Western Metaphysical religious beliefs and practices.

As such, the programme violates California constitutional provisions prohibiting government religious preference and religious discrimination, the lawsuit alleged.

“This is frankly the clearest case of the state trampling on the religious freedom rights of citizens that I have personally witnessed in my 18 years of practice as a constitutional attorney. The programme is extremely divisive and has unfortunately led to the harassment, discrimination, bullying and segregation of children who, for good reasons, opt out of the programme,” attorney Dean Broyles.

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