Quantcast
Connect with us

New Mexico lawmaker worries teaching yoga in school is state-sponsored religion

Published

on

A discussion about childrens’ fitness has prompted criticism of a New Mexico state congressman after he expressed his opposition to a physical education teacher using yoga during her classes.

The Albuquerque Journal reported on Monday that state Rep. Alonzo Baldonado (R) voiced his concerns during an Oct. 19 meeting of the state Legislative Education Study Committee after John Baker Elementary teacher Ann Paulls-Neal told the group she employed yoga with her students, while referring to it as “stretching and mat work” and not associating it with any particular faith.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Are we teaching yoga in public schools now?” Baldonado reportedly asked Paulls-Neal. “Are parents notified?”

While Paulls-Neal told the committee that one student, who identifies as a Jehova’s Witness, had opted out of the yoga portion of her classes because of their religious beliefs, Baldonado compared the situation to him reading Bible scripture inside a classroom.

“I think it tends to open a door to a practice tied to a religious belief,” Texas-New Mexico newspapers quoted him as saying after the meeting. “There is a good population of people out there who feel that way, so we have to ask if another option is available for them.”

Baldonado himself identifies as a Christian, and was quoted after the meeting saying he homeschools his three daughters while also taking them out of yoga stretching exercises administered as a part of their swim team. But his focus on the issue was chided by state Sen. Bill Soules (D), a fellow committee member, who called it “a concern of the far right.”

Patrick Davis, who leads the progressive group Progress Now NM, also called Baldonado’s attention to the exercises into question.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Of all the things a legislator could focus on to get our public schools back on track, Rep. Baldonado chose this one as his most important,” Davis told the Journal. “Even for conspiracy theorists, this one seems far-fetched. How he thinks a rudimentary stretching routine meant to improve physical health could lead students to join a religious cult is beyond me.”

In July 2013, a California judge denied a family’s request to ban yoga from being included in physical education courses, despite the family’s claims it promoted an “anti-Christian bias.”

[Image via Alonzo Baldonado official Facebook page]

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

WATCH: Pete Buttigieg surges to first place in ‘gold standard’ poll of Iowa caucuses

Published

on

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg surged in a poll of Iowa released Saturday night.

The poll, by Des Moines Register, CNN and Mediacom, showed major movement in the race.

"Since September, Buttigieg has risen 16 percentage points among Iowa’s likely Democratic caucusgoers, with 25% now saying he is their first choice for president. For the first time in the Register’s Iowa Poll, he bests rivals Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who are now clustered in competition for second place and about 10 percentage points behind the South Bend, Indiana, mayor," the newspaper reported.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Turkey launches ‘massive attacks’ on the Kurds — US military are ‘sickened’ by Trump’s betrayal: report

Published

on

Turkey launched a new offensive against the Kurds in Northern Syria, NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel reported Saturday evening.

Engel hashtagged his update with #AmericanBetrayal.

"Massive attacks underway against the kurds in northern syria. No ceasefire. Total nonsenses there is," Engel reported.

President Donald Trump reportedly greenlighted the operation against the Kurds during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.

"US military officials tell me they are ashamed, 'sickened.' It’s cold now outside. What about the families, and kids, out of their homes?" he wondered.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Our side is WINNING’: Elise Stefanik lashes out after Dem challenger Tedra Cobb’s fundraising surges

Published

on

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) lashed out at critics on Saturday after gaining notoriety for interrupting the House impeachment proceedings.

Saturday morning, prominent Republican attorney George Conway blasted Stefanik as 'lying trash' -- and donated $2,800 to Tedra Cobb, Stefanik's Democratic challenger.

I just gave the legal maximum. If you believe in truth in politics and in the rule of law, you should give what you can as well. https://t.co/KztHswmYoT pic.twitter.com/ukfNr66ipP

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image