Encinitas School District Expands Yoga Program

Photo credit: Hayne Palmour IV for U-T San Diego

Photo credit: Hayne Palmour IV for U-T San Diego

Encinitas Union School District trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to accept an additional $1.4 million grant that will expand its controversial yoga program.

The grant will pay to increase the number of yoga teachers from 10 to 18 and to write a curriculum. It will come from the same group that initially funded the program; the Sonima Foundation, which changed its name from Jois Foundation earlier this year, initially invested $533,000.

The EUSD yoga program, which is offered to all children in the district, was the subject of a recent lawsuit brought against the school district by concerned parents who claimed the program was religious and should not be allowed in public schools. On July 1, a judge sided with the school district, allowing the yoga program to continue.

Of course, not everybody is happy with the plan to expand the yoga program. Dean Broyles, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the parents and president of the National Center for Law and Policy, commented on the decision reported UT San Diego.

"We are a nation of laws, not men," Broyles wrote in an email to the paper. "EUSD’s decision to double down on its flagrant religious freedom violations is an outrageous breach of public trust. Apparently the money served as much too powerful an intoxicant for the trustees to handle and far too easily purchased continuing egregious First Amendment violations.”

Broyles has said he plans to appeal the July ruling.