Do parents have a say in what schools teach their kids?
A new battle is shaping up as the federal courts increasingly rule against parental rights while state legislatures seem determined to give parents a choice
“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,” the parents’ attorney, Dean Broyles, told the Times.
At issue was a $533,000 grant from the Jois Foundation, founded by the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who according to the Jois website “spent his entire life dedicated to the study, practice, and transmission of Ashtanga Yoga, and was known affectionately by his many students simply as Guruji.” The website goes on to describe Jois as born in India and studied "the Vedas and Hindu rituals at the age of five."
Broyles told ABC News that the Ashtanga yoga being taught Encinitas kids is offensive. “The poses and positions are acknowledged by Ashtanga and Hindi yoga as forms of worship and prayers to Hindu deities. They have a spiritual and religious meaning behind them. It would be like a charismatic Christian organization funding classes in worship and praise.”
In another case in Utah, parents were upset that the local high school’s modernized version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night included cross-dressing and a same-gender kiss.
In Massachusetts, U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf dismissed a civil rights lawsuit brought by parents David and Tonia Parker and Joseph and Robin Wirthlin, who had objected to their children being taught to accept and endorse same-gender sexuality, reports Bob Unruh. Wolf ruled that the Christian youngsters need the teachings in order to be “engaged and productive citizens.” He ruled that it was unconstitutional to uphold “the rights of religious freedom and parental control over the upbringing of children.”
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