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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:42 PM

Family bent out of shape over a public school yoga program sues Calif. school district

SAN DIEGO (AP) An attorney representing a family bent out of shape over a public school yoga program in the beach city of Encinitas filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop the district-wide classes.

In the lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court, attorney Dean Broyles argued that the twice weekly, 30-minute classes are inherently religious, in violation of the separation between church and state.

The plaintiffs are Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock and their children, who are students in the Encinitas Union School District.

"EUSD's Ashtanga yoga program represents a serious breach of the public trust," Broyles said. "Compliance with the clear requirements of law is not optional or discretionary. 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."

Superintendent Timothy B. Baird said he had not seen the lawsuit and could not directly comment on it, but he defended the district's decision to integrate yoga into its curriculum this year.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/california-school-district-sued-over-yoga-program

29 replies, 1920 views

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Reply Family bent out of shape over a public school yoga program sues Calif. school district (Original post)
The Straight Story Feb 2013 OP
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #1
kairos12 Feb 2013 #2
elleng Feb 2013 #3
rurallib Feb 2013 #4
EastKYLiberal Feb 2013 #5
kentauros Feb 2013 #8
Freddie Feb 2013 #10
kentauros Feb 2013 #11
tammywammy Feb 2013 #18
awoke_in_2003 Feb 2013 #9
wickerwoman Feb 2013 #13
JI7 Feb 2013 #24
MattBaggins Feb 2013 #6
wickerwoman Feb 2013 #14
haele Feb 2013 #15
JVS Feb 2013 #17
wickerwoman Feb 2013 #20
MattBaggins Feb 2013 #22
wickerwoman Feb 2013 #23
XemaSab Feb 2013 #7
Tyrs WolfDaemon Feb 2013 #12
Cleita Feb 2013 #16
JVS Feb 2013 #19
Cleita Feb 2013 #21
JI7 Feb 2013 #25
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #26
Skittles Feb 2013 #27
Mariana Feb 2013 #28
MrYikes Feb 2013 #29

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:49 PM

1. I think he needs more practice

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:51 PM

2. What have they got against a bear and pic ic nic baskets?

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:53 PM

4. bet they'd be satisfied to replace the yoga with prayer

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:58 PM

5. All physical education classes should be optional...

 

A lot of my worst memories from school came from PE classes.

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Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:08 PM

8. And that's why I was in marching band

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Response to kentauros (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:56 PM

10. Not fair!

Where DH went to HS, marching band got him out of PE; no such luck at my school

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Response to Freddie (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:58 PM

11. Oh, that's too bad.

Then again, marching practice began three weeks before school started, in the Houston area. In August.

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Response to kentauros (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:47 AM

18. Only threes week?

Here in Arlington, they start in June to prep for the 4th of July parade. The. They get a couple/threes weeks off and start up again.

I'm glad I was orchestra (cello) in HS and not band.

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Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:48 PM

9. No they shouldn't be...

especially now. For some kids the only physical activity they get is in PE. Better monitoring is needed, not cutting it out.

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Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:05 AM

13. Team sports should be optional, not PE.

PE should teach kids how to keep themselves fit (i.e. their choice of weights, cardio, boxing, running, swimming, tennis or badminton, team sports if they're into it, etc.)

Where PE becomes a living hell is with it's crap attempt at social engineering and "building team and leadership skills" led by ex-jocks who think being bullied or humiliated is character building.

If I'd been allowed to just do circuit training on my own in gym class instead of sitting around a softball outfield I'd probably have much better fitness habits that I do now.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:22 AM

24. i agree, i think students should be allowed to even just go walk around

if they don't have interest in any of the sports.

i always liked the days when we had to walk or run around a track because i hated team sports .

i was ok if they allowed us to do what we want like if a few friends decided to go to the basketball court and just take turns trying to throw the ball in the hoop.

but i HATED team sports. those who are into it coudl do it. but there really is no point in pushing those with no interest to play those competitive games .

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:01 PM

6. They may be correct in this one

If they are teaching any of the spirituality or having students learn mantras, then they are violating SoCaS

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Response to MattBaggins (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:10 AM

14. 1st amendment is separation of church and state.

Last edited Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:11 AM - Edit history (1)

Yoga isn't part of an organised religious institution, it's a spiritual practice like meditation.

My primary school taught kids anger management techniques like deep breathing and visualisation which come out of yoga. It would be absurd to say that violates separation of church and state. It's like saying eating crackers shouldn't be allowed in schools because of the Eucharist.

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Response to MattBaggins (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:28 AM

15. They're not teaching religious spirituality, unless stress relief, basic breathing exercises and

non-denominational meditation techniques (the type of meditation where the instructor says "visualize a peaceful, sunny meadow in the spring...") are religious.
I've been to public-education type yoga classes, and the kidlet took one when she was in high-school as a PE alternative - it's primarily stretching and getting into the right frame of mind and breathing to hold the yoga position.
Instead of talking about "chakhras", what little spirituality - if you can call it that - they talk about feeling "energy" or "strength" from a part of your body. "Now imagine a green ball of energy forming at the base of your spine...feel it moving slowly up your back, loosening up the knots in your muscles as it moves up to your shoulderblades..."
The yoga taught in public schools is about concentration, confidence, and personal empowerment. It's like Tai-Chi. Other schools in the area down here teach the same yoga classes, and the parents of those kids who are taking the classes are generally happy and have seen improvements in their children's concentration.
I find this situation is similar to many of the other programs that deal with coping in schools - there is a very vocal subset of parents who feel that schools are not supposed to teach children anything that might lead to the child perhaps questioning their authority or the social environment around the home - programs in arts and art appreciation, comparative literature, ethnic viewpoints or even anti-bullying programs.
These are the same type of parents who freak out at fifth-graders being taught the time-tested adolescent hygene classes because they think children should be kept pure of mind when it comes to their "dirty parts" until the child gets married. The ones who are so fearful of a world full of corruption and satanic influences that just the word "yoga" conjurs up Hindoo deamons ready to drag their children down to the pits of hell.
It's a frivolous complaint, and it shouldn't be getting the attention it's getting. My opinion - one of the many mega-storefront churches is cheerleading it on.

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:42 AM

17. Watered down and coopted religous practices are still religious practices.

If I turn genuflecting while making the sign of the cross into an exercise to improve balance and relaxation, it still is teaching a mode of practicing a religion.

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Response to JVS (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:06 PM

20. A practice is a practice until the practicer imbues it with a religious intent.

Is everyone who burns a candle practicing a religion? Of course not. Some people just like the smell or ambient light.

Eating many herbs and vegetables once had a religious significance. That doesn't mean every time I eat Thai food, I'm sliding down the slippery slope into Buddhism. Nor does eating crackers and drinking wine make me a Catholic.

Making a doll out of corn husks is crafting. Burying it in the garden to soak up the evil spirits is a religious practice.

Doing yoga for health and relaxation is doing yoga for health and relaxation.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:57 AM

22. I'm sorry but you are not being fully honest

Yes Yoga can be filtered down to just teaching breathing and relaxation but there are also spiritual and religious aspects to Yoga, and if that is part of this program then it is wrong.

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Response to MattBaggins (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:10 AM

23. See post 14.

Yoga has spiritual aspects but it isn't promoting a church. The intention of the first amendment was to avoid a state religion, not to ban meditation in schools.

And in post 20 I said quite clearly that practices *can* have religious aspects if the practitioner performs them with a certain intent. But it's also possible to separate the practice from its religious origins. I never said that yoga is always divorced from spiritual or religious aspects so I'm not sure where you're getting dishonesty from.

Technically, though many forms of Buddhism, Hinduism and paganism are not "religions" in that they don't have a central organising body, don't have a dogmatic belief system, don't pretend to explain the origin of the universe or what happens to us after we die, etc. etc. My problem with religion comes from pretending to have answers, not from asking questions and so I have no problem with spiritual journeying practices explored in schools in that light as long as they are not tied to an organised church and are not being presented to children as "the truth about xyz".

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:06 PM

7. Real Christians don't send their kids to the statist public schools

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:00 AM

12. I'm fairly sure that if Jesus (not the Supply-Side Jesus) were here...

He would be encouraging the Sedlocks and other offended parents to participate in Yoga.



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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:34 AM

16. And the stupidity doesn't end.

I do Tai Chi and Yoga to help with my balance, which is kind of screwed. Tai Chi is actually considered a martial art. Sometimes we meditate in Yoga class but no one is teaching us religion. I doubt if that is happening there either. I think this is insane. Who is their lawyer, Oily Teats?

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Response to Cleita (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:51 AM

19. Tai-Chi is a martial art, but there is a woo component that can get fairly strong

I remember a friend talking to a Kung-Fu instructor about Tai-Chi and complaining that it was religious hokum, while the instructor was talking about being a big fan of Tai-Chi and put great stock in the extra bit of force that the chi gave his punches. My friend insisted that although perhaps a good stretching and balancing routine, in a difficult struggle with an opponent Tai-Chi was not the art that he would choose to draw from in order to go for the win.

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Response to JVS (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:19 PM

21. My instructor talks about chi, but it really isn't so religious as a term that's hard

to translate into English. Like anything else you can take as much as you like from it, and mostly I would say in gym class you would emphasize the physical and very beneficial aspects of it. What a loss to those students because of what could only be described as bigotry.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:23 AM

25. i guess it would have to depend on how this is done

if they make them say things like OMMMM then it shouldn't be allowed.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:33 AM

26. Yoga can be free of religion. Ironic that Christians complain...

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:44 AM

27. being forced to take yoga sounds like punishment to me

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Response to Skittles (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:06 AM

28. Most PE programs feel like punishment

to many of the students taking them.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #28)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:03 AM

29. I don't understand

what is wrong with pe? Is someone being harassed?

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