Watch out! There’s yoga in our schools!
From the “Don’t they have anything better to do?” files comes this one:
A judge in California – Where else? – was forced to hear a case brought against a school district that was – horror of horrors – subjecting its young charges to yoga. Yes, yoga, that ancient exercise and relaxation technique that has cast untold millions into the pits of Hades. Well, at least to hear the plaintiffs tell it.
Those plaintiffs, Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock, apparently fearful that their youngster might become a peace-loving bovine worshipper, availed themselves of the services of attorney Dean Broyles, president of the National Center for Law & Policy, a conservative Christian outfit that, according to its website, “focuses on the protection and promotion of religious freedom, the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, parental rights and other civil liberties.”
When the suit was filed against Encinitas Union School District, Broyles told ABC News, “If you researched 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.”
Timothy Baird, superintendent of the school district, replied that yoga was simply an addition to the schools’ health and wellness programs.
“The students come in, do some warm-ups, do the typical stretching and movement. There’s absolutely no religious instruction that goes on, whatsoever,” Baird told ABC. “I believe what (Broyles) is saying is just the motions of the yoga stretching is somehow invoking Hinduism – and in America, where 90 to 95 percent of the practitioners are not even Hindu.”
Regardless, the Sedlocks seemed convinced that teaching yoga to the kids in Encinitas was in some way an effort to surreptitiously brainwash the youngsters into becoming devotees of an Eastern religion. The district noted that even though the yoga lessons are financed by a grant from the J.P. Jois Foundation, which promotes the study of Ashtanga yoga, all “cultural references” were removed from the program, including the use of the Sanskrit language. For instance, in the kids’ classes, the lotus position is referred to as the “crisscross applesauce” position.
Those facts were not enough for the Sedlocks, which is so often the case in this country, where many feel that their beliefs and opinions are equal to facts, whether in a simple argument or a court of law. They are not, but the Sedlocks forged on, claiming there were insidious elements to this yoga program. How did they know this? They read it on the Internet, of course, and as we all know, everything on the Internet must be confirmed as wholly truthful before it can be added to the World Wide Web.
Superior Court Judge John S. Meyer wasn’t swayed by their Wiki-wacky arguments and tossed their case.
“It’s almost like trial by Wikipedia, which isn’t what this court does,” said Meyer, in refusing the Sedlocks’ request to suspend the yoga program.
Unfortunately, this might not be the end of the case. Broyles said he thinks the judge “got some of the facts wrong,” and he’s most likely going to appeal.
Why not waste more of the time of everyone involved in the case, and force the school district to spend even more money to fend off this ridiculous nuisance suit? After all, it’s the American way.