Yoga in school: parents concerned about religious connotations

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Yoga in school: parents concerned about religious connotations

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Yoga in schools has attracted attention in Cobb County because of concerns by some parents over yoga’s religious roots in Hinduism. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

An assistant principal who attracted attention of some conservative Christian parents last year by introducing yoga into her Cobb County school to calm disruptive students has filed a lawsuit against the district.

Bonnie Cole asserts that the reaction from the parents caused the school system to effectively banish her to a school in a different part of the county where the student body does not perform as well as Bullard Elementary, from whence she was moved.

She is seeking financial recompense for the resulting distress, inconvenience, income loss, “humiliation” and “indignities” and the effect on her career.

The lawsuit against the school district filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia says that yoga, as Cole introduced it, was not done as a religious practice and the school district was being hypocritical because during that period emails containing “Christian-based Daily Scripture Devotionals” were being sent to all staff.

Cole is a practicing Christian who alleges in her suit the school system buckled under pressure from the parents, some of whom went to church with the superintendent.

The actions and suit have raised questions about religious practices in schools, and whether yoga, which has its roots in Hinduism, is a religious practice.

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