It’s over. For now.
California’s 4th District Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the trial court’s ruling that rejected the anti-yoga lawsuit by parents who wanted to keep Encinitas schools from teaching yoga. It concluded the program doesn’t violate freedom of religion laws.
The full court ruling is here.
A quick rundown:
Attorney Dean Broyles, who represented the parents in the lawsuit, said he and his clients “are disappointed with the decision and we are carefully considering our options.”
“No other court in the past 50 years has allowed public schools to lead children in formal religious rituals like the Hindu liturgy of praying to, bowing to, and worshipping the sun god,” Broyles said in an email to U-T San Diego.
Paul Carelli, an attorney with Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz who represented the district pro bono in the case, said Friday he was pleased with the appeals court decision.
“We believe the school district was doing the right thing,” Carelli said. “The program is really very good for kids.”
Parents who do not want their children in the school district’s yoga program have the option of keeping them out, Carelli said.
The appeals court ruling “cements the constitutionality of the program,” Carelli said, so the district now could remove that option and make the class a requirement. However that’s unlikely, he said.
“Kids in the program love the program,” he said.
And here’s from the website of the program’s supporters. You can take this, I think, as a statement on their part:
While the yoga opponents will have an opportunity to petition the California Supreme Court for a review of today’s decision, two strong rulings in our favor make further judicial review unlikely.
We hope you and your families are enjoying spring break – your students’ yoga program will be waiting when they return to school.
Thank you, as always, for your warm wishes and continual support. Coast Law Group has been honored to represent you in this fight.
Is it fair to say it was a good Friday? Do note the possibility of this going to yet a higher court. So stay tuned.
Posted by Steve