A new initiative to implement yoga classes in some California elementary schools has left a few parents less happy baby and more full-on warrior.
A So-Cal school district started the yoga program in an effort to keep students active and healthy. All grades attend two 30-minute classes a week and researchers with the University of San Diego plan to monitor its effects.
The county was given a $533,000 grant from the Jois Foundation, an Encinitas-based group that promotes Ashtanga Yoga, to use across the district, but now some parents are contesting the program.
Seven district parents explained to the school board that they thought the program pushed Hinduism on children and violated religious freedom, reports the NC Times. "Yoga practices and poses are not merely exercise; they're religious practices," said Marsha Qualls, who has a student at one of the schools with the yoga program.
Some parents have even requested to have their children pulled from the class. Andy Vick, a father of three daughters enrolled at Mission Estancia, believes children taken out of the class are ostracized and bullied, going so far as to compare the situation to that of Nazi Germany.
District officials responded by assuring parents that the program was put together by educators who eliminated any religious aspects of the practice. Still, the school board said the parents made valid points and would take a closer look at the program.
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