The separation of church and state is a vital issue, a cornerstone of America’s foundation, one of the core values of our society that every citizen respects. Which is why the parents of Cobb County, Georgia, are absolutely horrified that their children are practicing yoga in school.
When yoga classes and mindfulness exercises were introduced at Bullard Elementary School to help students manage their stress, parents were immediately concerned that it was an attempt to push Hinduism on their impressionable kids. Religious practices (at least Near Eastern ones) don’t belong in the classroom. “No prayer in schools. Some don’t even say the pledge, yet they’re pushing ideology on our students,” a vigilant mother told Atlanta TV station 11alive. “Some of those things are religious practices that we don’t want our children doing in our schools.”
The school issued an apology and promised to rectify the situation. The yoga classes will continue, but students will no longer color mandalas, put their hands over their hearts, or say “namaste,” because these are all things related to Hindu religious tradition. Luckily, kids are still free to practice yoga’s greatest tradition, lying in child’s pose and taking a nap.