For a backdrop of this story, click here.
Oh boy….this situation definitely seems to be heating up. In the beginning, there were just complaints…now it seems there might actually be civil action.
From North county Times:
The Encinitas Union School District is under threat of lawsuit from disgruntled parents who claim that the Encinitas Yoga program for children is religious indoctrination.
The group’s lawyer sent an email to Tim Baird, the Superintendent, claiming the program is unconstitutional and that they may initiate “a legal course of action” if it is not discontinued.
“There’s a deep concern that the Encinitas Union School District is using taxpayer resources to promote Ashtanga yoga and Hinduism, a religion system of beliefs and practices,”
Dean Broyles is president of The National Center for Law and Policy, a right wing legal group. From their website:
The National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) legal defense organization which focuses on the protection and promotion of religious freedom, the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, parental rights, and other civil liberties.
The whole bit about “sanctity of life, traditional marriage” definitely speaks to republicanism and Christianity. This confirmed my initial suspicion that religion was driving the parents to complain.
To Some Degree, their Concerns are Justified
Ashtanga is a particularly spiritual practice; it involves rituals and meditation. However, I doubt they are teaching rituals in a public space. Even with the rituals in the normal practice many practitioners do not feel they are betraying their religion. Indeed, many of the people on the board of the Jois Foundation are of different faiths. Their Yoga practice has no bearing on their own beliefs.
I can understand that the parents feel a little mistrust for something that has a background of being religious or spiritual, but they are taking it too far. There is no Hinduism in this physical practice- save for it’s historical roots. Meditation is a practice of the mind, calming the waves of restlessness to allow inner harmony to prevail.
For the sake of the kids, I hope that they decide to lay off. Yoga could make the children much more calm and their school “careers” more successful.
What would you say to the parents who are threatening a lawsuit? Do you agree?