Parents Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock are suing the Encinitas Union School District, near San Diego, for allegedly violating their children’s religious freedom by offering yoga classes for physical education.
The Sedlocks have the option to opt their children out of taking the classes, but the couple's lawsuit says children participating in yoga are "religious guinea pigs."
According to NBC Los Angeles, their lawsuit wants to suspend the yoga program indefinitely for all children and “restore traditional physical education to the district.”
The Encinitas Union School District accepted a $533,000 grant for the yoga classes from the Jois Foundation, which the Sedlocks' lawsuit claims is a religious organization.
"We have not stripped religion out of it. We never put religion in it," School District Superintendent Timothy Baird said. "What we took out were cultural connections, so we don't use Sanskrit words. But basically what you have kids doing is stretching, moving, breathing. That's not religious."
Aa FAQ on the program on the school district's website states: "There is no discussion of spiritualism, mysticism, religion in any context. The students simply perform the physical components of movement and breathing related to mainstream yoga."
The Sedlocks' lawyer Dean Broyles, who is part of the conservative National Center for Law and Policy, claims that the yoga program was a “breach of public trust” that sets a “dangerous precedent.”
“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,” Broyles said in a press release.
Source: NBC Los Angeles